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Prasanta Patnaik


Bhubaneswar,31/10/17:Gokul Behari Patnaik, who was regarded as the Guru of most of the Shilpi Gurus of Odisha is no more. He left for his heavenly abode on Monday.( October 30th 2017 ) night at 11.20 P.M. leaving behind his family members , thousands of students and admirers..He was 84 and was suffering from dreaded cancer for last few months.


Gokul Behari Pattanaik, 84 years, was one of the oldest a well known artisan of patta chittra from Orissa. He is practicing this art form since a young age. Though father Giridhari Patnaik  was also into artistic things but was not into Patta Chitra or Palm Leaf engraving. He went to Lucknow to learn commercial art and started palm leaf engraving around 1961 He is believed to have introduced scroll painting for the first time in 1963. Received national award in 1968. He had trained a lot of students for the last many years. Some of his ex-students have also received national awards and honors in this art form.


As the Superintendent of State Handicraft Training Institute , he trained up many students in stone carving, patta painting, palm-leaf carving and efferent crafts while maintaining the Odishi style.

He has exhibited his products a number of times at Delhi Haat and Suraj Kund and once each at Kolkata & Mumbai. Had been to California in 1985 for 3.5 months. Was again sent to Indonesia by the Orissa govt. for a week in 1993.


Shilpiguru Gokul Bihari Pattnaik was  well-known as a gentleman artist in Odishan artist community, was  one of the most 


respected  artist due to his long noncontroversial carrier and major contribution to the next generation of traditional Chitrakar Society. Some of his students bagged national awards in Pattachitra and he is among very few Gurus who continued the GURUKUL tradition intact. More than sixty students of Gokul Bihari presently practicing and experimenting various forms of Pattachitra under his guidance at his village studio (at Olasingh of Khurda district) and at his Bhubaneswar studio at Old town as well.


He was painting Pata Chitra in every early morning and around 10 hours a day even at this age of 83. He is the first Odia artist who is experimenting on Odishi Chitra (Pattachitra) since late Sixties. He sacrificed his mainstreamed carrier to save Odishi Pattachitra Parampara which was in dying condition in the Sixties. He has created a huge scope for Odishan classical art form (Odishi Pattachitra) what can be called as the MANTRA of mechanisation of art in the sixties but humbly hesitate to take the credit which is a sign of a great person.


His MANTRA of success helped the fellow Chitrakar community to survive with dignity by introducing Pattachitra in various mediums like on Silk, Fashion clothes etc. He has done his Diploma in art at Govt. College of art and crafts, Lucknow in 1959. He has participated in many international workshops and shows till date. He will be remembered by the artsans of Odisha for his contribution to the traditional art form and making it commercially viable while maintain the originality.


A bio-pic Ranga Trshna was produced on life and works of the great artist which was released early this year and was highly appreciated by the viewers. 


As a media person I have come in contact with a number of National awardee artists and craftsmen of Odisha most of whom were very close to her and many were his students or colleagues in the State Handicraft Tra8inng Institute. In true sense he was a Guru of the Gurus and would be remembered for ever. 



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2018-04-24 08:35