Hemanta Misra
Hemanta Misra Hemanta Misra

Hemanta Misra

Hemanta Misra

Hemanta Misra

1917 - 2009

Hemanta Misra

One of the pioneers of surrealism in Indian modern art, Hemanta Misra was born in Sivasagar, Assam, on 13 October 1917.

Misra went to school in his hometown and later studied at Cotton College, Guwahati, and St. Edmund’s, Shillong. As for the arts, he was self-taught, polishing his skills through a correspondence course with British artist John Hassal.

Misra shifted to Calcutta early in his career, the first phase of which was marked by brilliant landscapes evoking his native Assam. Landscapes gave way to experiments with cubism. However, his cubism was not a copy of the West but its distillation, with angles being softer and compositions more lyrical. Misra traversed a wide range of pictorial styles before arriving at a consistent and personal vocabulary defined by intuitive surrealism,.

In 1947, he was the art advisor to the ‘First Assam Hills and Plains People’s Exhibition’, and worked as a staff artist in the military. On the strength of his drawing, he was selected as member of the prestigious Calcutta Group of artists in 1953. Misra was also a writer and a poet, and illustrated several books. His publications include the Assamese book Bharatiya Chitrakala (1978), a book of poems in Assamese titled Roopar Antare Roop (1984), and the Bengali book Dikhow Luit O Sagar (1990). His works are in the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, and the State Museum of Oriental Art, Moscow.

He passed away in Guwahati on 31 December 2009.

‘His colour merges into the atmosphere without having a separate existence of its own. This abstracted harmony of colour and form plus the inner content...build up his painting to fruitful meaning’



dag exhibitions

The ‘Manifestations’ series of 20th Century Indian Art, Editions VII, VIII, IX, X

DAG, New Delhi, 2012-14

‘Indian Landscapes: The Changing Horizon’

DAG, New Delhi, 2012

‘Indian Abstracts: An Absence of Form’

DAG, New Delhi, Mumbai, New York, 2014-15

notable collections

National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Lalit Kala Akademi, Imphal

Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata

Rabindra Bharati Museum, Kolkata

Museum of Oriental Culture, Moscow

British Council, Bangkok