Born in 1935, Burman studied at the Government College of Arts and Crafts, Kolkata, and later at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts in Paris. The artist had his first solo exhibition in 1954 in Kolkata, and has since exhibited widely across the world including at venues like the Galerie des Beaux-Arts, Paris; Piccadilly Gallery, London; Galerie Doucet et Coutureau, Paris; Galleria Nuovo Sagittario, Milan; and Galerie Sagar, Zurich.
Burman has participated in several group shows, some of the most recent including 'Faces of Indian Art' organized by Art Alive at the Visual Art Gallery, New Delhi; ‘Understanding Oneness in Diversity’ at Kitab Mahal, Mumbai; ‘An Evening in Paris …Rome…London’ at Gallery Sanskriti, Kolkata; and 'Resonance' organized by Art Musings at Museum Gallery, Mumbai, all in 2007. Burman was awarded the Medaille d’Argent au Salon de Montmorency and the Prix des Etrangers, Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris in 1956.
Sakti Burman's paintings weave myriad motfis culled from imagination and reality into a filigree of dreamscapes. With their soothing colors and rich textures these works combine the formal and stylstic values of Renaissance and Baroque art with native Indian myths and folklore.
Burman is a fine lithographer who can achieve an incredible range of tonal and textural variations. He has illustrated several books such a collection of Mallarme's poems. He has also published portfolios of his lithographs. Burman's images are steeped in romanticism and fantasy. Europe and India are fused in his imagination. Exotic birds and blooms sprout from unlikely places. Sensuously painted women loll about in a mythical landscape. The surface is usually textured like aging frescos.
Burman's paintings depict figures in hues that the viewer feels were once vivid, but are now faded. They transport one into their dream-like worlds, where the perspective and composition is often that of medieval icons. Burman has mastered both pointillism and the marbling effect, achieved by blending oils with acrylics, which enhance the fresco-like, enthralling appearances of his works on paper and canvas.
In the artist’s work, reality mingles with the world of his dreams. Though realism surfaces in Burman’s paintings, often in the form of past and present members of his own family in India and France, he constantly and assuredly returns to the dream world. On Burman's canvases, one finds mythical creatures that tell ancient tales of courtly romances, bringing alive an enchanting world of comely maidens, children astride elephants, flutists, fruit laden trees, exotic flowers, birds and beasts; a lost paradise, where all creatures dwell in harmony. Each work is captivating, luminescent and delicate. Working in his Paris atelier, Burman is in close communion with this private universe of enchanting creatures. Engaging with grace and beauty, he creates a sense of tranquility in his art.