Kaushik Chakravartty

(Kolkata 1944 - Mwanza 1975)

Kaushik Chakravartty was a young Indian painter who died at the age of 31 and left behind him a considerable body of work. He was brought up  from a very early age among artist friends of his family. Paritosh Sen , Sarbari Ray Choudhury and  Prodosh Das Gupta were among those who closely followed his artistic development.   Baroda and Paris where he spent two years respectively were immensely important in his development as a mature painter for he was allowed to experiment in different styles and forms.

Since the  world of sound was closed to him he was totally uninhibited in his approach to  colours which were often vibrant in his depiction of the animal and oceanic world  as well as bold lines in his African sketches.

Two of his works are at the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi,  one at the Birla Academy in Kolkata, one at the Lalit Kala Academy , New Delhi , three at the Public Health Foundation.

Private collection of his works are in India, USA, UK ,France, and Australia.

He was killed in a car crash in Mwanza, Tanzania in 1975.

More about Kaushik

In 1959 Kaushik joined the  Government College of Art  and Craft at age 15. In 1961 on a trip to Santiniketan, he met Nandalal Bose and was asked by the artist to make a rough  sketch of him which Kaushik completed within a very short time.

He  obtained his Diploma in Fine Arts from Government College of Art and Craft , Kolkata in 1964 and then spent one year at the Delhi College of Art.

Between 1966-68 he spent  two years at the MS University of Baroda , working  under K G Subramanyan. His stint in Baroda was a turning point for him as a painter . He experimented with metal collages and different styles of painting. He held his first successful solo exhibition at the Lalit Akademi. 

In 1969 he left for Paris on a scholarship to study at the École des Beaux Arts. He was attached to Atelier 17 of William Stanley Hayter and Krishna Reddy. Apart from paintings, metal collages and etchings he also learnt the technique of stained glass with Bernard Allain.

 He  had  several exhibitions during this period in Paris, New Delhi and Mumbai ( Le Haut Pavé Galerie, Paris 1970; Ashoka Art Gallery, Delhi,1971; Taj Art Gallery , Mumbai 1972; Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi,1973; Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai, 1974)

A posthumous exhibition was held at Lalit Kala Akademi exhibiting a series called Birds on blue which had never been shown before.

In 2001 an exhibition was organized for the first time in Kolkata with a selection of his paintings covering the period 1969-1975. It was inaugurated by Paritosh Sen and attended by Sarbari Ray Choudhury both of whom had helped Kaushik as a young boy. 

“Life in the deep”  a joint exhibition of Kaushik and K Ramanujam  was organized by Jhaveri Contemporary in Mumbai in 2016. In Paris he “became interested in Chinese and Japanese art. His works combine Asian traditions —painting in the ink and scroll format, for example—with American ones. Like the earlier generation of American abstract expressionists and colour field painters, Kaushik was concerned with the forms and energies latent in nature. Working on unprimed canvas laid out on the floor, he began using colours with increasing purity and directness. With the texture of raw canvas visible in many of his works, there is a close relationship between image and surface” 

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