Artist Amal Ghosh was born in Calcutta, India, in 1933. He studied at the Government College of Art and Craft in Calcutta with tutors who had graduated from the British Slade School in the 1930s. As a result, his artistic training was characterised by strong classical European bias which emphasised formal instruction. After moving to the UK in the 1960s, he completed his postgraduate education at the Central School of Art & Design in London, which later became Central St. Martin’s College of Art & Design. He received an MA from Calcutta University in 1972 and did a postgraduate course in art therapy at Hertfordshire College of Art, in St. Albans in 1982.
Ghosh’s early paintings were heavily influenced by European techniques. Paradoxically, it was in England that he became more acquainted with his own cultural heritage with the help of his tutors, artists Cecil Collins and Alan Davie, who were familiar with Indian artists such as Rabindranath Tagore. As Amal Ghosh explains in ‘Beyond Frontiers: Contemporary British Art by Artists of South Asian Descent’, ‘Cecil Collins and Alan Davie, two gifted artists and teachers, reaffirmed and valued my Indian heritage in a way that had not been possible in India’.