Gopal Ghose

Born in Shyambazar (Kolkata), Gopal Ghose spent his childhood and adolescence shifting between Shimla, Benares and Allahabad. In 1931, he enrolled as a student at the Maharaja School of Art & Craft, Jaipur, under the guidance of Sailendranath Dey, from where he obtained his Diploma in Painting in 1935. Subsequently, he enrolled at the Government School of Art, Madras, in 1936, under the tutelage of Deviprasad Roy Chowdhury. Beginning with a pictorial language that was inspired by the latter, Gopal Ghose’s work transformed during the 1940s; his sketches of the infamous man-made famine of 1943 and the paintings executed during his association with the Calcutta Group testify his shift to a more contextually relevant pictorial diction. During the early 1940s, he taught at the Indian Society of Oriental Art, Kolkata, before he joining the Government School of Art, Kolkata, where he taught till 1972.

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Gopal Ghose’s art received critical attention from Rabindranath Tagore, Abanindranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose and Stella Kramrisch. In 1956, he was one of the participants in a collective project involving designs by contemporary Asian artists engraved on Steuben Crystal, which were exhibited at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. In 1963, he went on a tour of the United States as part of the Foreign Leader programme of the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, US Department of State. He had several shows of his paintings across India, and continues to be widely admired for his work by art critics and collectors.

He was diagnosed with lung cancer, and breathed his last on 30th July, 1980.

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