In February the Broadway Gallery will present an exhibition of paintings by the late artist and educator Amal Ghosh (1933 – 2022). Amal Ghosh was born in Calcutta, India, in 1933 and attended the Government College of Arts and Craft, before moving to Britain to attend the Central School of Arts and Craft where he specialised in mural painting. Later Amal went onto to study at the Hertfordshire College of Art, St Albans. His work is held in major public collections including the Victoria & Albert Museum and Art Council England – and had been widely exhibited both nationally and internationally including Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool, the Barbican, London and the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
Amal’s early art education was modelled in the philosophy and practice of the western art schools and had little to do with his own cultural heritage. While studying at the Central School, Amal was encouraged to draw on the visual traditions of his Indian heritage, through the encouragement of his tutor’s, artists Cecil Collins and Alan Davie. Both Collins and Davie were noted for their paintings that drew on non-western art, philosophy and spirituality. Collins and Davie where able to reaffirmed and valued Amal’s Indian heritage in a way that had not possible before.
From the 1980s Amal’s work began to be characterised by his use of the human and animal forms. Body parts became distorted, stretched and contorted, alongside symbolic animals and creatures from Indian visual culture; several examples can be seen in this exhibition. His paintings are heavily influences by his time studying the Ajanta cave murals in India, which are amongst the finest examples of early Buddhist murals. Although Hindu and Buddhist symbols run through Amal’s work – the symbolic forms should not be read or understood in a literal way. The meanings of his painters are open for interpretation and the viewers own frame of reference.
Amal Ghosh: Bridge is produced by the Broadway Gallery, a charitable service of the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, in collaboration with Iris Ghosh. With support from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.
Public Programme and Events
Indian & South Asian Artists in Britain, Tuesday 26 March 2024
To coincide with Amal Ghosh: Bridge the Broadway Gallery will be hosting a symposium to explore the importance and impact of other Indian and South Asian artists working in the UK and to chart their history and representation in British Arts.