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December 2019 Issue 25

What constitutes the art of Bengal? The entire premise for this issue of TAKE Bengal hinges on that one question, and while there clearly is art from Bengal, it is the possessive preposition that raises premises and hackles. For nearly four centuries the Portuguese, Dutch, French and, finally, the British, all touched the shores of Bengal, each leaving an imprint not only on the history, politics and economics but also on the art, architecture, fashion and cuisine that have shaped this fertile east Indian riverine state. With the art in Bengal having made significant contributions to India’s art history—socially, culturally, economically and politically—the tradition of knowledge production in Bengal that has its roots in the various schools of thought, continues to produce more research and dialogue around these aspects to this day. Yet, the large amount of research only reaches a limited and interested audience. History books, journals, and papers are complete with extensively researched material, but what is the community that reads it and who are the receivers?

This issue of TAKE on Art tries to re-explore the history and the contemporary situations in Bengal in order to regenerate an alternate form of history-writing. Situating the narrative within the framework of a number of iconic images that define art in Bengal, spanning across different historical periods, the idea is to delineate a history in parts to create a whole through a visual narrative.

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TAKE Bengal: Editor’s Note

TAKE Bengal: Guest Editor’s Note

The Politics of Polarisation: Art in Bengal

India and the Modern in the Art of Pre-Independent Bengal

Jamini Roy

Ramkinkar Baij

Kolkata: The Fertile Land of Artists and Educators

Abanindranath Tagore

Abanindranath Tagore

Nandalal Bose

Nikhil Biswas

Somnath Hore

Real within the Real - Women Artists in Bengal till the 1970s

In Search of the People

The City and its Architecture

Bengali Drama

Though Not by Roots Alone

Bikash Bhattacharjee

Murtaja Baseer

A Historical Overview of Printmaking in Bengal (1900-2000)

Ganesh Pyne

Reimagining Ganesh Pyne: The Reclusive Artist

Sri Gauri Chitrakar

Lens on Craft

Food in Bengal Art

Mrinalini Mukherjee Animate Nature

Earth as Haven: Under the Canopy of Love

Rabindranath Tagore and Satyajit Ray

Here to Stay

Photo Essay

Photo Essay

City in Suture: Thinking Kolkata with Bapi Das

Family Tales: Conversation with Chittrovanu Mazumdar

The Collector’s Narrative

Land of Exhile

Outside Art

Exploring the Archive: A Vignette

Conversations with Tarana Sawhney

Kolkata Centre for Creativity

Jangarh Singh Shyam: A Conjuror’s Archive

Jitish Kallat

Staging Possibility: Reading India at the 58th Venice Biennale

Recent Works by Prabhavathi Meppayil

Connecting Threads: Textiles in Contemporary Practice

Through the Eyes of an Intimate Outsider

In a Bizarre World: Adbhut Lok

Prabhakar Barwe — A Forgotten Master

Art on a Two-Way Street: 4th Kochi-Muziris Biennale

Reflected Imaginaries: Chennai Photo Biennale, 2018


Emerald Apsara - The Adventures of Professor P.R. Mazoomder

Launch of Archive as Medium - Exploring the Performative Body

Launch of TAKE Fashion

Shaheen Merali