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Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 12pm

"Kolkata Cross Currents" at London's Saatchi Gallery

Kolkata has nurtured and inspired artists for centuries and now three of the city's leading lights are coming to arguably the greatest contemporary art space in London. 

Artists Sumitro Basak, Shreyasi Chattergee and Kingshuk Sarkar have been included among some of Britain's greatest artists as part of the inaugural STRARTA Art Fair to be held at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea this month.

Major works by the trio, who have all exhibited at the Centre of International Modern Art (CIMA) in Kolkata, will be showcased during the 4-day festival which begins Thursday (10 October).

Festival curator Griselda Bear discovered the artists on a visit to CIMA.

"My own long-standing aim is to seek out artists elsewhere who demonstrate stature in their work of a kind that will stimulate and interest audiences here", Ms Bear says. 

"When this is successful it has a powerful two-way effect of introducing exhibition visitors to new, international practice in the arts and also, importantly, of enabling the artists to develop further by seeing their work in a wider context.’

Kolkata-born Basak, 38, is the youngest of the artists and has showcased his work the length and breadth of India.  Basak received his art training at Shantinikhethan, the famous arts institution founded by Bengali playwright Rabindranath Tagore.  A storyteller, Basak assembles visual fragments to chronicle his life experiences.

53-year-old Shreyasi Chatterjee is a graduate of Kala Bhavan and London's Goldsmith's College, and is also an art historian with a special interest in Indian miniatures.  Her background is clearly evident in the way she presents her subject matter in the works in this exhibition where the traditional and rural is apparently being broken up and supplanted by the modern and urban. To reinforce her viewpoint she combines traditional fabrics and stitching with painting in modern-day acrylic on canvas.

Sarkar, 41, is a fellow Kala Bhavan graduate as well as Kyoto University where he trained in Japanese traditions and techniques of calligraphy and Sumi or "Art Wash" painting.  The monumental diptych in this exhibition reflects and depicts these interests as well as ominous spectres from his childhood when he lived in a tumultuous and terrorised Assam.

'Kolkata Cross Currents' is at the Saatchi Gallery from 10 to 13 October.

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