Hailing from Faridpur, Bangladesh, Biren De went to Calcutta where, in 1949, he completed his graduation in fine arts from the Government College of Art. Later, years spent in New York and extensive travelling over continents would enrich his artistic expression with new forms.
From 1956 onward, his figurative compositions began to fragment, turning into free shapes and units. Around this time De, along with some of his contemporaries, drew away from the styles of their predecessors, urging their peer group to initiate an individual vantage based on their inner experiences. De’s imagery began evoking a metaphysical introspection through recurrent symbols of the lotus, the sun, the wheel and bursting seeds His paintings captured the implosion of energy devoid of any agitated movement; only a blinding effulgence at its heart. The physical union of man and woman was abstracted into symbols: a ‘u’-like form representing the female principle and the straight and wedge-like shape representing the male.
The artist oscillated between deep blues and blazing reds, his final aim being the awakening of the psyche towards an undivided consciousness. Averse to the ‘hard edge’ abstraction of the West, De’s fluid and suggestive geometry was about dispersion, diffusion and dematerialisation. His works Apparition and Dying Ogre won National Awards from the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi. A Fulbright fellow, Biren De has painted many commissioned portraits for public and private collections in India.