Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke
BUDDHADEV MUKHERJEE, From the series 'In Search of Each Other' (16), 2016, Chinese watercolour, ink and gold dust on Chinese rice paper, 20.3 x 20.3 cm / 8 x 8 in

To describe Buddhadev Mukherjee's modest-sized lone man (or single creature) compositions in words is an interesting and telling exercise. The translations share the curious qualities of translated Haikus or transliterated proverbs from a foreign language. They walk the line between hilarity and profundity and the cultural contexts they are created under seem both vaguely familiar and faintly exotic. 

Buddhadev Mukherjee's lines are almost imperceptibly weighted. While his earlier schooling in Santiniketan and continuing interest has been in Painting, his official studenthood of Graphic Arts at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Baroda, did leave a permanent impression on his visual vocabulary. It first fragmented and then slowly condensed and streamlined the materality of his paintings. Later, the time spent at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou on government scholarship, gave him the freedom to encounter the traditional Chinese arts on his own terms which has led to the great fluidity of his line, and the penchant for minute variations on a single theme. It would be interesting to note here that spirits of Chinese and Japanese visual arts had historically been imbibed into the ideals of his previous alma mater, Kala Bhavan in Santiniketan, which had already been imparted to him. 

To 'Jana Samudra' (Sea of Humanity, 228.6 x 365.8 cm, 2014), which is a vast space obsessively filled with tiny human figures, henna-coloured, the drawings of isolated men are a striking contrast. But the identity crisis the tiny men suffer is also shared by the meticulously drawn and appendaged (besides various objects, they often have whole animals or bird bits collaged on) men in Buddhadev Mukherjee's suite of drawings. The recurring figure with side-parted hair and apple-blushed cheeks seems to be performing very many functions with deadpan seriousness. Here bathing with slithering snakes falling off along with the waste water, there napping with a train of ducks on his chest, yet everywhere looking sombre and resigned to his fate. Even figures which look clearly older and different, come across as disguises of this lone performer. It's cavalier to identify this performer as either the artist or the viewer but it definitely reminds us of the everyday bizarreness we willingly have to submit ourselves to, without any recourse of escape.

Born 1976 in Kolkata
B.A. in Fine Arts at Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan,
M.A. in Printmaking at the Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University, Baroda
Lives and works in New Delhi

Solo Exhibitions

2015   India Art Fair, New Delhi. Presented by Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke 

Group Exhibitions

2017   'DWELLING', 10th Anniversary Show (Part II)', curated by Ranjit Hoskote, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai
2016   'PERSPECTA', Annual Group Exhibition of Young Artists, Galerie 88, Kolkata
2015   'Body as Site', Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai
2014   'The salon of painting', Le Suppey en chartreus, France
2014   'EPINES D'EDEN', Gallery Duboisfriedland, Belgium
2013   'Contemporary Art in China', Shenzhen, China
2013   'Migrant', Xihu West Lake Museum, Hangzhou, China
2013   'The Eye of India Festival', Presented by Veranda-8, Chicago
2013   'Visualized Truth II', Ramybes Gallery, Lithuania
2012   'United Art Fair', New Delhi
2012   'Anant', Red Earth Gallery, Baroda 
2012   'Visualized Truth II', Ramybes Gallery, Lithuania
2012   'Indian Art Fair', Art Konsult, New Delhi, India
2012   'Visualized Truth I', Siauliai Art Gallery, Lithuania 
2011   'The Big Picture II', Gallery Sumukha, Bangalore, India
2011   'Social and Political Injustice', Akriti Art Gallery, Kolkata
2011   'Morning at the Window', Gallery Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai
2011   'Fly Baroda Fly', Red Earth Gallery, Baroda
2010   'Gennext V', Aakrity Art Gallery, Kolkata
2010   '1 x 1', Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda 
2010   'Untitled', Art Konsult Gallery, New Delhi
2010   'Black And White', Galerie Mirchandani +Steinruecke, Mumbai
2010   'April Salon' Galerie Mirchandani +Steinruecke, Mumbai
2009   'Hub', Faculty of Fine Arts, MSU, Baroda
2007   'Harvest', Arushi Arts, New Delhi
2006   '48th National Exhibition', Lalit Kala Akademi, Mumbai
2004   'International Print Biennale' Bharat Bhavana, Bhopal

Scholarships

2012   Chinese Government Scholarship

Residencies

2013   Da Wang Culture Highland International Artist in Residency, Shenzhen, China
2010   Camp in Visakhapatnam organized by Hanoku Kampa
2007   Camp in Ghari Studio organized by Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi

 

EXHIBITIONS

BODY as SITE

August 25, 2015 - October 15, 2015

PRESS

Portrait of an everyman

by Sneha Bhura, Mint Lounge