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Paritosh Sen

Born 1918 in Dacca, Paritosh Sen studied art at the School in Madras from 1936 to 1940. In 1943 he moved to Calcutta where, together with his other artist friends he formed the Calcutta Group which sought to introduce contemporary values in the field of visual Arts. In 1949, he left for Paris where he studied at the Atelier of Andre Lhote, Academy Grand Chaumier, Ecole des Beaux Arts and Ecole de Louvre till 1954.
Paritosh Sen’s journey starts from 1945 when he and his friends of the ‘Calcutta Group’ held their first exhibition in the city. This exhibition became an important landmark in the history of the Contemporary Indian Art. Though from the very start Paritosh’s work remained figurative and the human figure his main forte, he could never become burdened with formalism or of purism. In delineation, he might have taken to heavy brush strokes with Reds, Blues or Yellows or in Patua style, but he continues to be conscious of giving volume to the figures. And indeed this concern for the volume gave his pictorial venture a satirical twist. Sometimes he draws birds and animals. But whatever he paints, seems to come out of the time and chemistry of the soil in which Paritosh has kept his faith anchored till today.
Following his first solo in 1950 Paritosh Sen has held several shows in India and abroad with a retrospective in 2002 which toured Chennai, Calcutta and Delhi. In 1961, he had exhibited with Tyeb Mehta in London. Subsequent shows abroad include the Commonwealth Arts Festival, Four Indian Painters, Pittsburg, USA, Biennales of Sao Paulo, and Cuba and Asahi Shimbuan, Tokyo in the 60s and 70s.
Paritosh Sen is recipient of a fellowship from the French Government to design a Bengali type face based on Tagore’s hand writing and John Rockfeller III grant to travel to America both in 1969-70. In 1987, the Lalit Kala Akademi honoured him by electing him a Fellow. In 1989, the West Bengal Government honoured him with Abanindra Puraskar.
He was also conferred a D. Litt, Honoris Casua by the University of Burdwan and in 2002 by Rabindra Bharati University.
He was also conferred with the Medalion by the Republic of France with the inscriptions ‘L. Officier de l’orda des Arts et des Lettres.’
In the year 2004 the Lalit Kala Akademi awarded him the ‘Lalit Kala Ratna’ along with his contemporaries.

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