Bikash lost his father at a very early age. This left him with a deep sense of insecurity within him as well as empathy for the under-privileged who feature in his works. He graduated with a Diploma in Fine Arts from Indian College of Art and Craftsmanship in 1963. He taught at Indian College of Art and Craftsmanship from 1968 to 1972. He taught at the Government College of Art & Craft, Kolkata from 1973 to 1982. In 1964, he became a member of the Society of Contemporary Artists.
His first solo exhibition was at Kolkata in the year 1965. He has also exhibited paintings abroad too that include places like Paris, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary, London and New York. In the 1980s he painted illustrations for a novel on the life of Ramkinker Baij, a great artist of yesteryears. Bhattacharjee paints in a realistic style. He had painted portraits of Tagore, Satyajit Ray and Samaresh Basu. A portrait of Indira Gandhi with a blurred and white face was painted after she was assassinated. He had also produced a series of works on the Naxal movement. A host of painters were inspired by Bikash who included Sanjay Bhattacharya, a realistic painter of West Bengal.
Bikash Bhattacharjee is credited with bringing realism back to Indian art when artists in India were leaning more towards figure distortion and abstraction. He paints his city and its people. Bhattacharjee's specialty was realism. He has mastered in capturing the quality of light. He achieved a mysterious quality in his paintings that works on visual to the subconscious levels. He depicted females and people of all ages. He had the ability to create an authentic setting as background to the characters to heighten the dramatic effect. Bikash was influenced by surrealists and Salvador Dali was his favourite painter.
He died in a Kolkata nursing home on 18 December 2006 following a prolonged illness. He has received the following awards:
* Academy of Fine Arts Award, Calcutta (1962)
* National Award, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi (1971)
* Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Calcutta, National Award, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi (1972)
* Banga Ratna (1987)
* Padma Shri (1988)
* Shiromani Purashkar (1989)
* Nivedita Purashkar, Ramkrishna Vivekananda Ashram (1990)
* Lalit Kala Akademi Fellowship (2003)