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Biren De

Indian Modern Artist
Born 1926, Faridpur, Bengal
Died 2011, Delhi

Biren De was a proud practitionor of Non-Tantric ideologies. His work was concerned with the union of male and female principles – which according to the tantric principles, is the universal truth. He used symbols and patterns to bring about a spiritual quality to his paintings and juxtapositon of colours to create a bright and translucent visual that captures the viewer's eye and takes their mind to the highest level of meditation.

Education

1949

Diploma in Fine Arts, Government College of Arts and Craft, Kolkata

VIEW     Selected exhibitions     Text      Awards      Selected images      View all

LIFE AND WORK

MAPPING THE ARTIST

16

Gallery Show Solo

21

Countries exhibited in

0

Museum Show Solo

0

International / national residencies

62

Years in Practice

44

Auctions

1

Special Projects

4

Biennales

8

Museum/public collections

3

Museum Show Group

33

Publications

2

Awards

15

Gallery Show Group

1

Art Fairs

UNDERSTANDING Biren De

He is known for his brilliant Neo-Tantric paintings

Biren De started his career as a portrait painter before moving on to figurative works which were strongly influenced by Post-Impressionist European painters. This phase lasted until the late 1950s when he gradually involved into abstraction and by the 70's he got fully involved in Neo-Tantric ideologies - where act of creation is in fact considered as a spiritual practice. He once said that his approach to art is exploratory and that each black canvas he took up extended to him the eternal call of adventure.

Biren De, Untitled, 1979, oil on canvas, 50 x 50 cm

He creates an osmosis between

Biren De's paintings were concerned with uniting the male and female principles. According to the Tantric principles, the union of Purusha and Prakriti i.e. the male and female principles respectively is the "ultimate truth" and that one cannot survive without the other. His works are an exploration where the two could be combined. He used symbols and patterns such as mandalas, phalli and vaginas that have resonance of Hindu and Tantric Buddhist symbolic representation of the universal male and female energies.

Biren De, Untitled, 1967, oil on canvas, 30 x 48 3/8"

His paintings abound in symbolism

Biren De's compositions are a simple, decorative pattern - often coming in psychedelic design and in the disc. He used geometric forms and the juxtapositions of colour and light to epitomize notions of pure energies of a universal life force. The presence of a 'U' shape, primitive representations of the vaginal black parabolas, mustard bindu and a penile lilac wedge in the background with a maim half-red symbolizing the male and the female; the yin and the yang in his paintings. The shapes have continued to be reminiscent of known images.

Biren De, Untitled, 1973, oil on canvas, 52 x 40"

De used deep blues and blazing reds to depict the metaphysical

Throughout his career, De used deep blue which is the colour of tantra and mystery. His paintings have foundation of layers, often in oils and acrylics with luminous effects achieved by rendering the edges into lighter colours and the central spot of intense white light against a dark background. The juxtapositions of colours applied in such a way that bring the canvases to life with its translucency and seamlessness, providing the viewer with a sense of immense tranquility and a mood of meditation.

Biren De, January, 1992, oil on canvas, 44 x 38"

Bibliography