He was a painter whose works were a manifestation of the cosmic energy, rather the inner consciousness. He chose to give expression to this universal inner consciousness via colour, light and patterns rather than directly exploring or portraying the material world in his works.
The legendary artist Biren De was born in 1926. He studied at the Government College of Arts and Crafts, Kolkata. He finished his graduation in 1949. Biren De spent in later years travelling extensively in New York and other parts of the world. His travels enriched his artistic expression with new forms and idioms.
The artist oscillated between deep blues and blazing reds, his final aim being reaching an undivided consciousness. And his works were an exquisite embodiment of that inner consciousness that remains elusive for most. So for Biren De, it wasn’t the external world of concrete objects and human beings that was fascinating as such. What moved him deeply was the supreme divinity of human consciousness. And that he tried to capture in his works.
He was a Fulbright scholar to the U.S.A from 1959-1960. During his time there, he painted numerous portraits of distinguished persons. He spent the following year living and working in New York. He exhibited his works at many major art exhibitions in India and abroad including Salon de Mai, Paris and Venice Biennale.
Biren De passed away on 12th March 2011 in Delhi.
1944-49 Diploma in Fine Arts, Government College of Arts and Craft, Kolkata
Selected Posthumous Exhibitions
2011 ‘Manifestations VI', Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi
2011 ‘Manifestations V', Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi
2011 National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), New Delhi
Selected Solo Exhibitions
1999 ‘A Passionate – Detachment’, The Window, Mumbai
1991 ‘Watercolors’, GallerieGanesha, New Delhi
1990 ‘Watercolors by Biren De’, Galerie 88, Kolkata
1977 ‘Retrospective 1950-1977’, Dhoomimal Art Gallery, New Delhi
1975 Hempsted Public Library, New York
1975 Atelier – Galerie Irmgard Sen Gupta, Hamburg, West Germany
1974 ‘Exhibition of Paintings’, Gallery Chemould, Mumbai
1974 Gallery Chanakaya, New Delhi
1973 ‘Biren De – Within The Wheel’, Gallery Chemould, Mumbai
1971 ‘Paintings’, Gallery Chanakaya, New Delhi
1967 Kumar Gallery, New Delhi
1965 Kumar Gallery, New Delhi
1963 ‘Exhibition of Paintings – Biren De’, Fine Arts Gallery, New Delhi
1961 ‘Biren De – Exhibition of Paintings’, Kunika Centre for Contemporary Arts, New Delhi
1956 ‘Exhibition of Paintings – Biren De’, All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society (AIFACS), New Delhi
1954 ‘Exhibition of Paintings – Biren De’, All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society (AIFACS), New Delhi
1953 ‘Exhibition of Paintings – Biren De’, All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society (AIFACS), New Delhi
1952 ‘Exhibition of Paintings by Biren De’, Freemason’s Hall, New Delhi
1949 Darjeeling, West Bengal
Selected Group Exhibitions
2008 'Post Independence Masters', Aicon Gallery, New York
2003 ‘Neo Tantrics’, New York
1999 ‘Thirteen Indian Painters’, organized by Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts, USA
1973-74 ‘Indian Painting Today’, Belgium, Poland, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria
1973 ‘Contemporary Indian Painting’, Washington D.C and Los Angeles, USA, Toronto, Canada
1972 ‘Contemporary Indian Painters’, USSR and Greece
1972 ’25 Years of Indian Art’, New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai
1970 ‘Art Today’, organized by Kunika - Chemould at Ashoka Gallery, New Delhi
1965 ‘Ten Contemporary Indian Painters’, M.I.T. Cambridge, USA and New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, USA
1965 ‘Ten Contemporary Painters from India’, Manila, Hong Kong and Singapore
1963-64 ‘Ten Contemporary Painters from India’, Travelling exhibition to the USA.
1959 ‘Twenty Painters Show’, All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society (AIFACS), New Delhi
1959 ‘Contemporary Art from India’, Museum Folkwang Essen; StadischeKunsthalle, Recklinghausen; Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund and Galerie Palette, Zurich, Switzerland
1957 ‘Young Asian Artists’, Japan
1952 Freemason’s Hall, New Delhi
1951 Salon de Mai, Paris
2010 ‘Manifestations IV', Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi
2008-09 ''Modern India', organized by InstitutValenciàd'Art Modern (IVAM) and Casa Asia, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture at Valencia, Spain
2008 'Moderns', Royal Cultural Centre, Amman, Jordan organized by Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi in collaboration with Embassy of India, Amman, Jordan
1973 Biennale of Sydney, Australia.
1968,71,75,78,82 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th International Triennale India, New Delhi.
1967 Pittsburgh International Show, USA.
1962 Venice Beinnale, Italy.
1961 Sao Paulo Biennale, Brazil.
1959,61 Mainichi Beinnale, Tokyo.
1953,64 National Exhibition, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi.
1953,54,56 Exhibition, All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society (AIFACS), New Delhi.
Honours and Awards
1964 National Award for ‘Dying Ogre’, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi
1959-60 Fulbright Scholarship, USA
1958 National Award for ‘Apparition’, Lalit Kala Akademi, New DelhiBack to Artists View Artworks of Biren De