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Niranjan Pradhan


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Niranjan Pradhan emerged as an important sculptor from Calcutta, India in the late 1960s. Intuitive beauty and docile lyrical sensibility coupled with harmonious display of sharp, geometrically defined structural surfaces are the basic characteristics of his three dimensional art. His forms evolve from the inner core of life, from the environment around him. In that sense he is a reality conscious artist. The consciousness was the general feature of artists of 1960s. But Pradhan's forms do not end up expressing the essential features of apparent reality; they rather strive to unfold its inner essence.

During the nearly three and a half decades of his sincere attachments to the field of sculptural creativity, Pradhan had to cross many stumbling blocks, because of the hostile attitude of our society towards sculptural art; but he has amply proved his vitality and came to stay.

Born in 1940 within the green watery environment of Sunderbans, Pradhan passed first eight years of his childhood there and till early youth, he lived at the harmonious rural environment of Midnapore. He came to Calcutta and was admitted in Government College of Art and Craft at the age of 18. From there he got Diploma in Painting in 1964 and in Sculpture in 1967. The gradual urbanization of his initial rural sensibility is the crux on which his creative temperament was shaped since the late 1960s. Though he was arriving at his original form during the 1970s, his artistic temperament took shape in the preceding decade. Even to the day his early rural background nurtures his creative sensibility. The greens of vegetation, the murmuring flow of river water, the turbulent waves of the sea, the bright exuberance of the sunlight all around, the endless flow of the myths ubiquitously emanated from the submerged folk-consciousness have created for him a rich storehouse of imagery. The duality of rural and urban sensibility, rather the contradiction between the two is the basic characteristic from which his form grows. His forms are very much modern and flow as an extension of European geometrical cubistic modes; but the root of his consciousness within his own soil helps him to foster his own identity developing modernity within his own heritage.

These multifarious viewpoints of life and reality have been very adroitly expressed in a very unique formal structure. After a slow but steady sojourn of nearly thirty-five years, Pradhan has made substantial contribution in the modern Indian sculpture which his works very gracefully project.