Chintamoni Kar
Chintamoni Kar Chintamoni Kar

Chintamoni Kar

Chintamoni Kar

Chintamoni Kar

1915 - 2005

Chintamoni Kar

Chintamoni Kar, one of the foremost modern sculptors of India, was born on 19 April 1915 in Kharagpur.

He trained initially in sculpture with Giridhari Mahapatra, a traditional Oriya sthapati or temple-carver, and learnt painting under Kshitindranath Mazumdar at the Indian Society of Oriental Art, Calcutta.

His exposure to Western art in Paris in 1938-39, however, transformed his outlook, where he studied at the Académie de la Grande-Chaumière, and at the atelier of Italian sculptor Victor Giovanelli.

Kar’s subsequent disenchantment with the Bengal School was followed by ten productive years in England, during which he made his award-winning sculpture Skating the Stag, 1948, displayed at the 14th Olympic exhibition in London. He would return to Europe later to work on the conservation of paintings at Musée du Louvre, Paris, and at the Institute Royal du Patrimoine Artistique, Brussels, in 1960-61.

Back in India, he served as principal of the Government College of Arts and Crafts, Calcutta, from 1956-73. Equally at ease with the academic as well as abstract styles, and various mediums, Kar experimented with forms, fusing concepts and technique into an amalgam of convention and sophistication, of myth and modernity.

Kar was also a prolific writer. His Bengali commentary on French art and society, Pharasi Silpi O Samaj, was published in 1940, and the book, Classic Indian Sculpture, was published in 1951. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 1974. Kar passed away on 3 October 2005, in Kolkata.

‘All that looks Indian is not Indian, nor can an Indian become un-Indian because of his alien garment. If one’s sight is clear and illumination from within is not covered, it is possible to rise above the technical forms and subject matter whatever they may be’



dag exhibitions

‘Manifestations VII: 20th Century Indian Art’

DAG, New Delhi, 2012

‘The Art of Bengal’

DAG, New Delhi, Mumbai, and New York, 2012-16

‘Indian Portraits: The Face of a People’

DAG, Mumbai, 2014

‘India’s French Connection: Indian Artists in France’

DAG, New Delhi, 2018

‘Navrasa: The Nine Emotions of Art’

DAG, New Delhi, Mumbai, 2020

notable collections

National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata

Central Museum, Lahore

Ministry of Fine Arts, Bucharest

Inner Temple, London

archival media

The Hindu

16 April, 2004