Survival of Art in Society

By: Debasish Ghorui   Ritwij Bhowmik  

In any society, the investment of capital nurtures the protuberance of art practice, and the (Indian) Bengali society was not an exception. Soon after the Indian independence and the ruinous partition, the Bengali cultural scenario faced egregious recession. Within the next two decades, Bengali painters witnessed an uncertain phase caused by the sudden disappearance of dependable art patrons. It further instigated the economic insecurity in the art field, which led them to question several aspects of society as well as self-representation, leading to the embellishment of aesthetic sensibilities in their artworks. Nevertheless, the decade of the 1980s observed an abrupt advent of massive investments of capital in the Bengali art field. The new investors and gallery owners started treating the artworks as consumer goods, while it compromised the aesthetic sensibility and the vision of the artist in the name of marketing and profit measurements. By incorporating interviews of art critics and curators, this paper documents this sudden grown in the (Indian) Bengali art field. This article also focuses on the heteronomous culture in the Bengal art scene and how it has affected the artistic expression as well as the technical aspects of art.

Bengali Art, Arts and Identities, Heteronomy in Art, Artistic Expression
The Arts in Social, Political, and Community Life
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Debasish Ghorui

Research Scholar, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, India

Dr. Ritwij Bhowmik

Assistant Professor of Fine Arts and Design, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, India