Swapan Kumar Das' command – as
one of India’s
leading artists in Graphics – over the smallest
details of line and design, and his finely modulated
instinct for color, are reflected in the visual richness
and textural subtlety of both his art prints and his later compositions in oils.
His paintings are textured with fine, minutely
spaced lines that travel with sustained liquid grace
across the length and breadth of his canvases, weaving
subtle illusions of three-dimensionality into his perfectly
formed images. His portraits of women, flawless in
their beauty of face and dress are exquisite in themselves.
But they become starkly ironic when we realize, that
face, dress, backdrop and everything that forms a part
of their landscape, are façades, deceiving masks that
veil an unknown reality. People are marionettes the
artist seems to imply, creatures made of straw. Sometimes
the straw spills out, but mostly the figures remain
masks, simulating an unattainable perfection. Over
it all, the artist's colors surge in delicate shadings
contrasts and textures.
In deliberate contrast to these images
of remote perfection, is the artist's overt visual
statement on ‘War – Innocence Violated'.
Here, flared lightning slices the central figure of
a stripped, somber-eyed mother into halves of darkness
and bleak light. In a bottom corner of the painting,
against a dramatic, subtly striated background of black
and dull green lies a baby with eyes closed – the
only form in the picture that emanates, deceptively,
the warm color of life.
In Das’ linocut
prints, man, bird and animal, social, historical and
mythological images are figured with rich detail and
a luminous meshing of colors. They are further vivified
with frequent dashes of international flavor. Japan,
where the artist studied on scholarship, recurrently
invades his imagination – in the sinuous curl
of waves, delicate depictions of fin and feather, silhouettes
of mountains, or even his whimsical portrayal of two
Indian ladies in partial geisha garb.
Meticulous designs, minutely patterned
figurations of lines, and nuanced applications of shimmering
color give his prints the textural richness of highly
glazed enamel. In the rich multiplicity of his color
gradations, Das occupies
a premier position among international artists in linocut.
in Japanese Costume’
| linocut print (1/3)
18” x 18”
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About the Artist
Born : 1955, Calcutta
Education: Diploma in Fine
Arts from Govt. College of Arts & Crafts, Kolkata,
1979; Post Diploma in Graphic Arts, Viswa Bharati University , Shantiniketan 1982. Monbusha Scholarship,
Govt. of Japan at Nagkute Art University , 1986-1988.
International Print Exhibition Japan
- 2005 11 th Trienniale India , N. Delhi
- 2004, 1991, 1981 Bharat Bhavan International
Biennial of Prints
- 2003, 2000 Trienniale Mondiale Chamalieres France
- 1989, 1987 3 rd International Biennial
of Prints, Taipei
- 1989 Norwegian International Print Triennial
- 1987 INTERGRAFIK, Berlin , East Germany
- 1986 2 nd Biennial
of Havana , Cuba
- 1984 AIFACS, N. Delhi , International Contemporary
Art Exhibition, ‘Graphic ‘84'
- 1989, 1977-1984 Birla Academy of Art , All India .
- 1971-1988 Academy of Fine Arts,
- 1987, '86, '85, '83, '82, '81, '78 Lalit Kala Academy,
- 1986 Lalit Kala Academy , Delhi , Graphics
- 1985 Lalit Kala Academy , Delhi , Youth
- 1986, 1976-'83 Maha Kosal Kala Prasad,
- 1984, 1980 U.P State Academy, U.P
- 1984 Indian Acad. of Fine Art Amritsar
- 1980-'84 Chandigarh Govt. Museum
- 1982, '78 Kala Mela, N.
The artist has received 22 awards, national and
international. Among them are
- 1980 National Scholarship
- 1986 – 1988 Monbusha Scholarship, Japan Govt.
- 1989 Frederikstadt International Graphics