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B.C. SANYAL (1902 - 2003): No more brush strokes...

This past week, the Grand Old Man of Art, B.C. Sanyal breathed his last. AJIT KUMAR DUTTA pays a tribute... .


B.C. SANYAL, the doyen of arts for long years, passed away this past week at his residence in New Delhi. He would have completed 102 years this April. His deep involvement over the years, as teacher, administrator and practitioner -- a beacon light for all purposes -- saw him leaving an indelible mark as an artist. Dibrugarh-born, this Grand Old Man of Art, received formal training in Calcutta. He then went to far-off Lahore. The Partition brought him to Delhi, where he finally settled down.

Initially he looked preoccupied more with brush and colour depicting beautiful faces of nature as also a set of self-portraits, noted for wit and sarcasm. In between, he could be seen turning to three-dimensional work leading to an interesting set of head studies of compatriots like Kanwal Krishna, K.S. Kulkarni and Sailoz Mookerjee.

He will also be remembered as a founder, along with a number of artist-friends, of the Delhi Silpi Chakra that helped spread an art group movement in the North.

Much of his thoughts and ideas bringing a general art awareness, in the form of camps, workshops and otherwise, in fact, came to be reflected in various programmes of Lalit Kala Akademi after he assumed charge as the Secretary of the Akademi, of which subsequently, he was elected a Fellow, for his valuable and multifarious contribution. He was also conferred the honorary D Litt. by the Rabindra Bharati University. "The Vertical Women'', his autobiography has been published by National Gallery of Modern Art.

Bhabesda, as B.C. Sanyal was referred by most of his admirers was also an active participant and a witness to crucial phase of development of modern art of India.

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