Sankho Chaudhuri (b.1916)

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Sankho Chaudhuri | Biography | Life | Artworks

Sankho Chaudhuri is n product Of a period in our history in which ideas of tradition and modernity have been in conflict as well as synthesis. His oeuvre provides a curious link for him in retaining the essence of the formal rhythm of traditional sculptures and manifesting it in his pure forms in the context of the aesthetic ideals of today. He has worked in a variety of material and forms of expression. 

His deliberate studies in over-simplification are carried out by feeling and imagination that produce a kind of symbolic form through the juxtaposition of volume, mass and space, expressive of the modern technological age. 

At times his forms replace mass by a conception of voids. He has developed a mannered personal style by providing a dynamic treatment of line and volume to simple shapes, His recent sculptures are realised by ‘stepping out of the plane’. 

This involves a special thought process when a sculptor begins with a block of wood or stone and evolves a shape by reduction or subtraction. He removes volume to arrive at the ultimate figure. 

In ‘stepping out of the plane’, the sculptor gets his results by ‘addition’ of volumes. This process has recently gained popularity in modern sculpture but has so far been the exclusive province of the sculptors working in the media of sheet-metal. 

Sankho has used simple contours such as the square or rectangle, to create irregular shapes for evolving (with straight cuts), curved contours and internal cut-outs. 

In the process, plane surfaces with varying contours are bent into space transformation, Although many of his forms are very simple they bring to mind the ‘bird’ form. These are free interpretations of birds, conveying a light airy feeling. 

His forms whether cast in metal or worked in sheet- metal, enveloping space, express the essential spirit of things. 

They are volume creations—from material volume to virtual volume—and circumscribed mass imbued with a remarkable sense of rhythm. The negative volumes produced by openings perceived visually, although bodiless, are an outstand- ing plastic element in Sankho’s works. 

Sankho’s sculptures have as much meaning for the humanist as for the advocate of pure form. They are poignant works signifying the essence of an object and ‘the flash of its spirit’.
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