First and foremost, a big 'thank you' for the overwhelming response to the three issues of Artetc. News & Views that dealt with Protest Art. As I had said before, despite being an enthusiast who has delved deep into the history and development of Protest Art the world over, editing these three issues has also been a learning experience for meas I came to know about the intensity and variation that the politics of Protest encompassed more deeply.
But enough of the past; I go back to my former position as the publisher of the magazine and leave the editor's desk to our well-wisher and the very knowledgeable Pranab Ranjan Ray, who takes up the guest editor's responsibility for this issue and the next, dealing with the art of Bengal.
We have divided the series into two parts more or less in a chronological orderthe first dealing with the folksy-urban Kalighat and Battala styles of painting which flourished side by side with what is known as the early Bengal schoolspearheaded by Abanindranath, Gaganendranath, Nandalal Bose, and then carried forward by Hemen Majumdar, Atul Bose, Jamini Roy and others. In short, the period that was not only a mere art movement, but a force that also came to be associated with the Nationalist Movement during the British Raj. Influenced by the naturalists and the figurative paintings of the West, the Bengal School tried to develop a unique expression for itself, which was starkly different from the kind of art then being practiced elsewhere in India. It imbibed the technicalities of the West and was yet rooted firmly to the soil of its origin, a movement that can very well be described as the hotbed for the development of the modern Indian painting.
I convey my deepest gratitude to Nanak Ganguly, Dr. Paula Sengupta, R. Siva Kumar, Ratan Parimoo, Supriya Roy and Sushobhan Adhikary, Mrinal Ghosh, and Soumik Nandy who took out time from their busy schedules to write for this issue. My thanks also goes out to Sandip Sarkar, Anuradha Ghosh, Anurima Das, Sritama Halder and Sreyashi Ghosh for their contributions on various aspects of the Bengal school.
I hope, as always, this issue will satiate your expectations. I also hope to receive your feedback, which provides succor to this little big Art Magazine.