Born in 1921 in a village called Barama in Chittagong, present day Bangladesh in 1921, Sonnath Hore had started making posters for the Communist party while he was still very young. . It was infact with the help of the leader of this party that he was admitted into the Government College of Art andCraft. Between the years 1954 to 1967, Hore handled a number of jobs in various capacities. From 1954 to 1958, he was a lecturer at the Indian College of Art and Draftsmanship in Kolkata. Thereafter, until 1967, he held posts such as the "in-charge of the Graphic section" at the Delhi College of Art, visiting faculty at the MS University in Baroda and the head of the Graphic Art department of Kala Bhavan, Visva Bharati.. It was in 1960 that he became a member of the Society of Contemporary Artists.
His sketches, sculptures and prints were a reaction to the major historical crises and events of 20th century Bengal such as the Bengal Famine of 1943 and the Tebhaga movement, In 1943, he visually documented the Bengal Famine and reported on it for the Communist Party magazine Jannayuddha.
Somnath Hore learned lithography and intaglio at the Government College of Art and Craft, Calcutta. He was regarded as one of the most premier printamkers of India by the 1950’s. The artist invented and developed various printmaking techniques of his own including his ffamous pulp print technique. His drawings and his Tebhaga series of woodcuts show the influence of Chinese Socialist Realism and German Expressionism. As he evolved further as an artist, hiw wroks, especially the human figures began to get more simplified. There was lesser and lesser emphasis on details. He thereafter evolved a unqiue style where contorted and suffering figures were created with a masterly use of line.
Somnath Hore was also a recipient of the prestigious Padma Bhushan. He passed away in 2006.
1957 Diploma in Fine Arts, Government College of Art and Craft, Kolkata
Selected Posthumous Exhibitions
2017 'Tea Garden Journal and other works', presented by Kerala Laithakala Akademi and The Seagull Foundation for the Arts at Durbar Hall Art Centre, Ernakulam
2015 'Abby Grey and Indian Modernism: Selections from the NYU Art Collection', Grey Art Gallery, New York University, New York
2013-14 'Transition', 20th Anniversary Show, Centre of International Modern Art(CIMA), Kolkata
2013 'Hunger', Seagull Foundation for the Arts, Kolkata
2012-13 'Calcutta Chromosome', The Viewing Room, Mumbai
2012 'Crossings: Time Unfolded, Part 2', Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA), New Delhi
2011 ‘Manifestations VI', Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi
2011 'Bodies That Matter......', Art Heritage, New Delhi
2011 'Somnath Hore: Prints, Drawings, Posters', The Seagull Arts and Media Resource Centre, Kolkata
2010 'A Retrospective of Prints by Somnath Hore', Project 88, Mumbai
2010 'Vahana', Bombay Art Gallery, Mumbai
2009 'Modern Continuous', Galerie 88, Kolkata
2009 'Wound', Aicon Gallery, London
2008 'Moderns', Royal Cultural Centre, Amman, Jordan organized by Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi in collaboration with Embassy of India, Amman, Jordan
2008 The Seagull Arts and Media Resource Centre, Kolkata
2008 ‘Freedom 2008 – Sixty Years of Indian Independence’, Centre for International Modern Art (CIMA), Kolkata
2007 'Agony & Ecstacy: Bronzes by Somnath Hore', Gallery Espace, New Delhi
2007 ‘Life and Art of Somnath Hore’, Project 88, Mumbai
Selected Solo Exhibitions
1999 ‘Anguish Absorbed’, The Window, Mumbai
1995 ‘Bronzes’, Centre for International Modern Art (CIMA) Gallery, Kolkata
1992 ‘Wounds, Somnath Hore’s Bronzes, Drawings and Prints’, organized by Seagull, Kolkata at Sukh Sagar, Kolkata
1988 ‘Sculptures and Sketches’, organized by Kala Yatra at Sistas Art Gallery, Bangalore
1973 Kunika-Chemould Gallery, New Delhi
1967 New Delhi
1965 New Delhi
1963 New Delhi
1960 New Delhi
Selected Group Exhibitions
2004 Manifestations II, organized by Delhi Art Gallery at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai and Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi
2003 Manifestations, organized by Delhi Art Gallery at World Trade Centre, Mumbai and Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi.
1996 Contemporary Indian Paintings from the Chester and Davida Hertwitz Collection Part II, USA.
1993 ‘Wounds’, Centre for International Modern Art (CIMA) Gallery, Kolkata and National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), New Delhi
1991 National Exposition of Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), New Delhi.
1986 ‘Visions’, Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Kolkata
1968 Warsaw Biennale of Graphic Arts, Poland
1968 1st Triennale of World Art, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi
1966 International Association of Plastic Artists Exhibition., Tokyo and Kolkata
1963 Sao Paulo Biennale, Brazil
1962 Venice Biennale, Italy.
1960 Lugano International Graphics Biennale, Switzerland.
Honours and Awards
2004 Lalit Kala Ratna Puraskar, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi
1984 Gagan-Abani Award, Kolkata
1984 Professor Emeritus, Santiniketan
1977 L. N. Gupta Memorial Award
1963 National Award (Graphics) for ‘Dream’, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi
1962 National Award (Graphics) for ‘Birth of a White Rose’, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi
1960 National Award (Painting) for ‘Companions’, Lalit Kala Akademi, New DelhiBack to Artists View Artworks of Somnath Hore