M. V. Dhurandhar
27.2 x 19.2 in. / 69.1 x 48.8 cm.
Oil on canvas
Studying briefly at the Government School of Art, Calcutta (now Kolkata), in the mid-1940s, Somnath Hore trained under the artist Zainul Abedin, and, later, the printmaker Saifuddin Ahmed. Hore chose a distinctly formal, Western style of artmaking, distinguished by its strong linear quality, and guided by humanist concerns as much as the need to depict the catastrophe-enduring figure. The 1943 Bengal famine and 1946 Tebhaga peasant uprising marked him, reappearing constantly in his works. Made between January and April of 1969, this artwork, the first of three prints, uses blacks, greys and reds to describe the squalor and unrest the artist witnessed within the city. A figure stares at the debris left behind by their earthquake-destroyed home. The infamous earthquake of 1934 had reduced several towns in Bihar to rubble, and its fearful memory continued to haunt residents of Bihar and Bengal over the next few decades.
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