Rabin Mondal

Rabin Mondal was born in 1929, to a poor family based in Kolkata’s industrial sister city of Howrah. He received his training as an artist from the Vidyasagar College of Art in Kolkata, which he joined in 1949. A debilitating knee injury isolated him from his peers as a child, and this sense of isolation stayed with him throughout his life and is reflected in his work. Deeply affected by the Bengal Famine of 1943, the communal and political violence that was triggered by the Partition of India, and later by the erstwhile Naxal movement, he used a limited palette of muted but powerful colours to paint works that were thinly veiled social observations. A common complaint with his work is that it is not visually appealing, to which he had to say, “Painting is for communication and not for decoration.” A founding member of the Calcutta Group, he first exhibited his works in 1955, followed by a solo exhibition in 1961 at the Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata. Unfortunately, he passed away in relative obscurity; however a major retrospective of his works was mounted in 2015 which travelled to New York, New Delhi and Mumbai.;