Dhanraj Bhagat

Born in Lahore in British India, Dhanraj Bhagat acquired a Diploma in sculpture from the city’s Mayo College of Art. Bhagat began working with clay before finding true inspiration in wood. His early wood sculptures bore liquid, stream-like forms of the sensual feminine, with smooth, elongated lines. Post partition, his started acquiring rough edges and un-smoothed chisel marks. In the 1950s, when Bhagat had settled in Delhi, he began experimenting with different mediums such as cement, papier mâché, aluminium, copper and brass, the inherent qualities of each suggesting to him new forms and contexts. A series of mostly large, powerful sculptures executed in concrete marked his evolution towards abstraction. He won many accolades such as the Lalit Kala Akademi’s national award in 1961, the Sahitya Kala Parishad award in 1969, and the Padma Shri by the Indian government in 1977. He taught at the College of Art, New Delhi, from 1947-77. He passed away in 1988.