Born in Jiagunj, West Bengal in 1918, Indra Dugar was a self-taught artist unlike his father Hirachand Dugar, who had a formal education in art. Dugar attended school in Santiniketan and was exposed to the artistic styles and techniques of Kala Bhavan and the Neo-Bengal School. Eventually, he outgrew the Bengal School and developed a highly individualistic style of painting.
Dugar was known for his paintings of rustic scenes en plein air, painted in a non-academic style, yet retaining color harmony to reflect the tranquillity of his subject matter. He learned how to structure his landscapes from Nirode Mazumdar and Rathin Moitra, and from his father, he inherited the tradition of painting on silk. Watercolor and tempera were his preferred media. Dugar's earlier works leaned heavily on his observations, but he gradually began paring down detail.
Dugar was a versatile artist. He created decorative motifs for the annual sessions of the Congress at Ramgarh, Jaipur, and Amritsar, which went beyond his chosen theme of Indian landscapes. He was an art critic with the Bengali publications Desh and Anand Bazar Patrika and tried his hand at illustrating children's books. Dugar has shown his art as part of several prestigious exhibitions in India and abroad, including an exhibition sponsored by the UNESCO in Paris, in 1946. His art is housed in private and public collections including the Academy of Fine Arts, Indian Museum and Raj Bhavan in Kolkata, and the Japanese Art Association in Tokyo. In 1987, Dugar donated paintings for the Amar Mahal Museum in Jammu. He was a member of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kolkata, and the All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society, New Delhi. Dugar was the recipient of several awards, including a silver medal from the Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata in 1945, 1949 and 1950, and the 8th Sangeet Shyamala Award, Kolkata, in 1986.
Indra Dugar passed away in Kolkata in 1989.
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