Debashish Banerji

Consciousness • Art History • Writing



Current Projects







Contours of Modernity: An Exhibition of Contemporary Indian Art
Contours of Modernity was an exhibition of contemporay Indian Art held at the Founder's Hall of SOKA University in Aliso Viejo, CA. from Feb.1- April 1 2005. The catalog features fine prints of the 39 paintings exhibited.

These paintings are representative of works from the 1970's to the present by twenty leading artists from India and of Indian origin. The exhibition, the first of its kind in Southern California, displayed works by major contemporary Indian artists including celebrated founders of modern Indian art such as M.F. Husian, S.H. Raza, F.N. Souza, Ram Kumar, Ganesh Pyne, Ramananda Bandyopadhyay and G.R. Santosh, younger leading contemporaries such as Rameshwar Broota, T. Vaikuntham, Anjolie Ela Menon, Vasundhara Tewari, Surender Kaur, Bikash Bhattacharjee, Sohan Qadri, Anjan Chakrabarty,Biswarup Datta and Paresh Maity and diasporic artists such as Allan DeSouza, Sudha Achar and Amrita Banerji. The catalog carries an excellent histrorical oveview and contextualization of contemporary Indian art by the curator and biographical sketches of the artists.

The text brings out the intent of the curator to promote an international dialog with modernity, with its critical dimensions of displacement of culture, technological alientation, commercialism, mass conditioning, globalization and future possibilities; and the prints stimulate an intellectual and visual experience with a sense of socio-cultural affirmation, syncretic spontaneity for life, hope and regeneration and provide approaches towards understanding new ways of being modern in a global world.

The Alternate Nation of Abanindranath Tagore
A revisionary critique of the art of Abanindranath Tagore (1871-1951), the founder of the national school of Indian painting, popularly known as the Bengal School of Art. The book categorically argues that the art of Abanindranath, which developed during the Bengal Renaissance at the turn of the 19th/20th centuries, was not a normalization of nationalist or orientalist principles, but a hermeneutic negotiation between modernity and community. It establishes that Abanindranath's art-embedded in communitarian practices like kirtan, alpona, pet-naming, syncretism, and storytelling through oral allegories-sought a social identity within the inter-subjective contexts of locality, regionality, nationality, and trans-nationality. Abanindranath is presented here as a creative agent who, through his art, conducted a critical engagement with post-Enlightenment modernity and regional subalternity.

An excerpt from The Alternate Nation of Abanindranath Tagore

Seven Quartets of Becoming: A Transformative Yoga Psychology Based on the Diaries of Sri Aurobindo (pb)
Groomed in a modern academic tradition and post-Enlightenment ideals of creative freedom and social critique, Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950) turned his attention to yoga and the limits of consciousness in its ability to relate to and transform nature. In the process, he documented scrupulously his experiments and experiences based on a synergistic existential framework of practice. Debashish Banerji correlates the approach to yoga Sri Aurobindo took in his diaries with his later writings, to derive a description of human subjectivity and its powers. Banerji constellates Sri Aurobindo's approach with transpersonal psychology and contemporary lineages of phenomenology and ontology, to develop a transformative yoga psychology redefining the boundaries and possibilities of the human and opening up lines of self-practice towards a wholeness of being and becoming. 

Hardback edition from

From the `Foreword' of Prof. Christopher Key Chapple Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles:

Both scholar and Yogi, Aurobindo (1872-1950) carefully documented the unfolding of spiritual consciousness starting shortly after his deep revelatory experiences while in prison in 1908. His observations were recently published in a two volume set, The Record of Yoga. Debashish Banerji has analyzed this work and offers a detailed, clear, systematic and inspirational interpretation of how the Yoga of Sri Aurobindo may be understood and practiced.

The Introduction from The Seven Quartets of Becoming

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