Art News & Views


Sunil De,
10 February to 6 March, Art Konsult

Art Konsult will hold an exhibition of paintings by Sunil De titled 'Voyage', at its gallery at 23 Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi. The veteran painter from Bengal, born in Howrah in 1948 signs his canvases with the moniker 'Suneel', is a master of the non-figurative forms within the figurative manifestations. Sunil De has graduated from Government College of Arts, Kolkata in 1975. He has had several one man shows and group shows in every major metropolitan cities of India since 1976. Yet participation in Banga Sanskriti Sammelan, Calcutta Metropolitan Festival of Art, 1995 and Millennium Festival of Art in 2000 are some of the prestigious ones in his career. His most recent participation has been at the Singapore Art Festival, 2006.

Sunil's current artistic practice is incantatory in a not very abstruse sense. His canvases seem invariably to point to something beyond the here and now in their spatio-temporality; or in terms of an altered formulation, to employ religious imagery that is cryptic, and seem to come from a realm to which we no longer have access. His paintings fuse together vibrant texture and vibrant brush strokes in their reluctant figural indeterminacy and are held together within a compact organic embrace. The language they utter inaudibly, lisping almost, is one new forgotten, or nearly so. In a world fraught so irredeemably with loss, pain and insufferable creaturely dichotomy, they seem to conjure up an atmosphere suffused with a suggestion of ineffable meaning.

 Symbols and signs used in the paintings have philosophical depictions. The colour application is also well thought.

In producing the effect so powerfully that he does, Sunil's challenge is all the greater because there has been no attempt on his part, ever, to create the illusion of spatial depth through foregrounding or perspective. This would have rendered flat ( in more than the literal sense) the painted surface drained of figurative accessory; if still it doesn't, it's largely because of the preparation that has gone into the knitting of the surface texture. With canny meticulousness and unwearyingly love he lays upon it coat upon coat of paint, and brownish grey, often matted and opaque, with delicate, uncertain suggestions of partly concealed, subdued hues, and bearing scratches as well as faint residual traces floating in from the object world, it vibrates.

They now fuse together vibrant texture and equally vibrant brush strokes in their reluctant figural indeterminacy and held in unison within a compact organic embrace, like, that of Kalidas, disseminate a quasi semantic scattering of meaning.






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