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Born: 1953
One Man Shows
1974 - Indian Medical Hall-Kanpur
1980 - Nehru Hall-Azamgarh
1980 - Academy Of Fine Arts-Kolkata
1983 - Senate Hall, Allahabad University-Allahabad
1991 - Jehangir Art Gallery-Mumbai
1993 - Artists' Centre -Mumbai
1994 - Jehangir Art Gallery-Mumbai
1996 - Academy Of Fine Arts-Kolkata
1997 - Jehangir Art Gallery-Mumbai
1999 - Admit One Art Gallery-New York
2001 - Gallery Katayun -Kolkata
2004 - Kumar Gallery-New Delhi


Various articles on paintings & theatre have appeared in many national newspapers and periodicals. Stories published in most of the important literary magazines in Hindi including a collection of short stories recently published.
Workshops & Art Camps

Invited to attend the All India Artist & Writer Camp 1989 by Department of Cultural Affairs ,U.P. Independently directed Poster Workshops at Bhopal, Azamgarh and Allahabad Conducted Project Jointart with the intellectually challenged children of Mano Vikas Kendra, Calcutta 2001

An Unaffected Ease

Certain of the human representations in Ashok Bhowmick's often pen and ink works may be imagined to wheedle a smile out of the viewer. Such being those like the jester, the madman and the dwarf. But, as a matter of fact, they move in a disparate world from the actual one. Even when they happen to take off from the glaringly apparent, they are remote - a world in which not workaday reason but imagination or fantasy hold sway. If the artist uses similitude, he does so simply as a means to stimulate our imaginal sympathies.

The nature of this stimulus is well exemplified in his subdued sober choice of colours, as much as the distorting stylization of almost all his human presences. Whether organic of otherwise, the shaped forms of his compositions are, as if, engrossed in inner or outer reflection. They are like staged characterizations, artistic heightenings. As such they succeed in evoking empathy, that is, making us participate emotively in the lives of the dramatis personae. The painter has a fair technical ability to play on the key-board of our moods. His sundry compositional moves are put to humanizing uses, and are not neutral aesthetic strategies alone, as with some other painters. Then, if he touches us, he does so by legitimate optical laws, and not by literary cajoling. Also, if his work happens to have affinities with a painter or two here or there, the feel of his own 'puppet'play of solos, duos or multiple apparitions is not self-indulgent dalliance. His city street subject matter is completely pin-pointed on sidelined lives. He spreads these same right down the center, surely with the intention of opening up stingy, else uncaring hearts.

Bhowmick's figures move with unaffected ease in the elegant simplicity and mellowness of their coloring. Of children he appears to be remarkably fond, as he has romped with them, sorrowed with them, smiled with them when they were happy. In fact, the painter also evinces an inner bond with most of his other flights-of-fancy bemused figures. But the net result in not oddity, but a potential beauty - the one concealed beneath the familiar commonplace. The madman, mother courage, the ridden beast, etc are evidences that he does not care to divide life from art; that the web of his commoneal remains seamless.

We understand that Bhowmick soaks in nourishing minerals from arts other than the plastic but in, especial, poetry. The result is that he is not happy with virtuosity alone, nor does he make any assay as mere visual dazzlement. His know-how, to repeat, is willingly in aid of representing the eroded feel of life. That he is able to portray what he does without fanfare and fuss, that he does not rest content with external imaging, lends sufficient conviction to his work. It has body warmth. In sum, this work is a make-believe, but of reality not nonreality. In it is heard the life of peaceful understandings. In the huge orchestras of today's art, that too has a place, does it not?

Keshav Malik

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