Launching his creative career in the late 50s, Bikash Bhattacharjee stood out among his contemporaries by making hard-edged chiseled realism the core appeal of his canvases when realism or naturalism of every shade was considered a retrograde trend. Bikash’s strengths were his exceptional technical mastery and his power to charge the tangible appearance of the surface with the reality of the depth beneath. He was admired not merely for the near-illusionist evocation of realistic details, but for the obvious or subtle distortions in his imagery as a key to their complex multi-layered meanings. His realistic idiom is fascinatingly robust and compulsive, laced with rich irony, strong-veined allegory and lush visual metaphors. His portrait-based images enact the artist’s own experience of our time with all its dark social and moral tones and textures. Close to Events: Works of Bikash Bhattacharjee deals with Bikash’s early life in an old North Calcutta locality, the urban social ambience that shaped his creative personality and explores why he chose to remain ‘close to events’ and free from the dominant trends in post-Independence Indian art. It also analyses the technical and stylistic development of art with detailed exposition of some of the themes and subjects in the major series of his paintings. Internationally renowned artist MF Hussain has written the Foreword to this volume.