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Benodebehari Mukherjee (1904 - 1980) - Late Works
Centenary Retrospective Exhibition curated by Gulammohammed Sheikh & Siva Kumar
New Delhi: December 30th 2006 - February 11th 2007


Text - R.Sivakumar GM & Nilima Sheikh
Identification of Japan trip photos - Omuka Toshiharu Tsutomu Mizusawa
Design and formatting of CD - Pushkar Nagwekar, Kinjal Vora, Sukhdev Rathod, Sanjoy Kumar Malik
Voice - Indrapramit Roy

In 1949, Benodebehari left Santiniketan to assume the position of curator at the Nepal Government Museum in Kathmandu. He was drawn by the landscape and people of Nepal and their colourful life. He recorded these in a series of drawings and water colours marked by a gaiety new in his art. The wealth of Nepalís rich arts and craft practice made him notice, as never before, the continuity between the two in traditional cultures. This led him to rethink his views on art and art education and inspired him to carry the linguistic eclecticism evident in the Hindi Bhavana mural further in his later work. His stay in Nepal was short but rewarding and his work during these years assumed, without losing its painterly astuteness, a lightness of spirit and execution.On his return from Nepal in 1952, Benodebehari settled down in Musoorie in the Himalayan foothills. Landscape once again became his major trope, painting the mountains and the play of mist he tried to capture the more transient aspects of nature for the first time.

After a short stay in Musoorie he moved to Patna with an assignment to revamp the art school there. However, his eyesight began to decline rapidly andafter an unsuccessful surgery he lost his sight completely in 1957. Blindness did not diminish his creative urge; directing it into new areas and drawing upon his inner resources he began to make drawings and small sculptures, paper-cuts and prints; even a large mural in ceramic tiles based upon figural images he made by folding papers

Exhibition of Reserve Art
Collection in the temple
precincts of Kathmandu
water colour on paper,
27.7 x 41.7 cm, 1949
Mussourie, oil on silk
29.5 X 29.5 cm. mid 50s
Akanda, tempera on silver board,
31 x 25 cm, mid 1940s
Sthala Padma,
tempera on Nepali paper,
35 x 29 cm, c. 1947
In the Garden, tempera on silk,
43.5 x 43.5 cm, 1948
tempera on paper,
23 x 31.4 cm, 1956,
Man Seated on Chair,
marker on paper, c.1962
Figure on Bufflo, wax, 1958
Jatra, paper collage,
25 x 19 cm, early 1960s
Artist preparing paper cuts
for the ceramic tile mural
Ceramic tile mural,
1.67 x 18.80 meters, 1972

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