Songs of the Soil: Modernist Melody Mapin Publishing

Songs of the Soil: Modernist Melody

The Art of Manoj Dutta
Manasij Majumdar

Manoj Dutta was born in Kolkata (then Calcutta) in 1956.

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Manoj Dutta was born in Kolkata (then Calcutta) in 1956.
Despite having no formal art education, he soon came to the fore as a talented artist in the late seventies. His art stands out for being rooted in native styles, and indeed, his works look inalienably Indian more often than not. However, he isn’t simply recycling ideas from the
traditional or the Bengal schools of art. While relying on traditional ideas of art for visual meaning-formation—particularly folk art—Dutta integrates these modes with a distinct modern sensibility, especially in his treatment of contemporary events.

This volume by the renowned art critic Manasij Majumdar takes as its subject Manoj Dutta, by the author’s own admission one of his favourite artists. Majumdar has admired for many years Dutta’s paintings and drawings, which tend to look spontaneously home-grown, yet modernist at the same time. Today, his works have travelled far and wide, admired and collected by art-lovers worldwide, who appreciate in his art a lucid, unalloyed expression of something very much native to the Indian soil. Based on the collections accessible in Kolkata and Delhi, as well as Dutta’s own collection, the author traces here the major trends in the artist’s oeuvre, revealing its unique blend of “Indianness” and personal idiom.

Manasij Majumdar taught English in a college under Calcutta University as a reader, and writes on art and literature in Bengali and English. He has been a regular art critic for The Telegraph, Business Standard, and the Bengali weekly Desh between 1986 and 1999. He is the author of several books, including Dreamers on the Ark, a study of the art of Sakti Burman, Close to the Event on the art of Bikash Bhattacharjee, Art Moves, on the works by Sunil Das, Imprint of a Soul on prints and paintings of Amitabh Bannerji, among others, and has contributed to
Paritosh Sen: In Retrospect (Mapin, 2002).

• Foreword
• Preface
• In the Schools of World and Nature
• Close Encounters with Modernism
• The Many Faces of Men and Women
• Reality Through the Glass of Art, Subtly
• Beating His Own Path
• Catalogue of Selected Works
• Artist Biography
ISBN 9789385360763
Pages 196
Number of photographs 26 photographs
Number of illustrations 262 illustrations
Size 10.25 x 12.5” (260 x 318 mm), hc-plc
Date of Publishing 2020
Language(s) English
Co-publisher(s) Mapin in association with Sanchit Art Gallery, New Delhi
Rights Available World rights

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