Boy and the swam
Born in 1939 in Faridpur, in East Bengal, Jogen Chowdhury studied at the Government College of Art and Crafts, Kolkata, in 1955-60, and later at Ecole Nationale, Superieure des Beaux -Arts, Paris in 1965-67 on a French Government Scholarship.
He returned to India in early 1968 and went to Madras as a textile designer in the Handloom Board. He stayed there for four years till 1972. The same year he joined the Calcutta Painters Group. He held his first solo show during this time.
Chowdhury moved to Delhi in 1972 as the curator of the art collection at Rashtrapati Bhawan. In 1975, he along with some leading Delhi artists founded Gallery 26 and Artists' Forum. From 1976, onwards, Chowdhury participated in several exhibitions and art camps in India and abroad. In 1987, Chowdhury joined Kala Bhavana, in Visva Bharati University Santiniketan as the professor in the department of painting. Subsequently he became the head of the department and also the Principal of the college from which he took retirement in 1999. He remains closely attached to the institution and has been endowed with the prestigious status of Emeritus Professor. Five years back, along with a group of enthusiastic fellow artists from Santiniketan and with the generous support from many others across India and abroad, Jogen Chowdhury founded SSVAD (Santiniketan Society of Visual Art & Design) – a dynamic art activity hub located in Santiniketan. Within a few years this center has become a cultural hub and is growing as a major art center in Bengal.
Apart from innumerable significant shows in India and abroad, Jogen Chowdhury has received major prestigious awards. Way back in1966, Chowdhury was awarded the Prix le France de la Jeune Peinture in Pari – the first ever Indian artist to have received this award. In 1986 he received Award In the 2nd Biennale of Havana, Cuba and he is also the recipient of Kalidas Sanman award by Govt. of Madhya Pradesh, 2001, to name a few.
He continues to live and work in Santiniketan and remains to be one of the most prolific painters in the Indian art scene.