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‘Untitled’

Sanat Kar

Renowned Santiniketan artist Sanat Kar started his career as a painter before moving on to become one of India 's most eminent creators in print. His later paintings therefore, reflect a finely nuanced understanding of the rhythms of line and texture.

In his own words “Line takes us to rhythm … linearity infuses a sort of subdued rhythmic structure into all my work. While textured mute colors throb with a silent vibrancy transcending the positives, to merge into the negative spaces within the format, thus taking the total to the domain of a poignant solitude – a predicament that every human being has to face.

A tender contemplative poignancy is in fact the dominant mood – the unifying principle of ‘joyous pain' – in all his works. Sometimes it dreams, sometimes it searches, sometimes it philosophizes or predicts. Occasionally it is animated with quirky humor. This quintessential ‘mood' is his ‘inherent self' that remains always the same, even as the artist moves from one space into another ‘having refreshed and enriched on the gathered experience.'

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  Inquiry          

“Hence in my ‘Dreamer' series I have seen my fellow beings as dreamers of unfulfilled dreams. In the ‘Ikebana' series I imagined myself returning to my loved ones and familiar surroundings after death; saw fellow beings as frail flowers and leaves in the ‘Leaf' series, and suggested that love is nothing but ‘Maya' in yet another series…This approach and attitude have provided … formal, structural, compositional and stylistic changes, while allowing the intrinsic character to remain unchanged.” All his works are suffused with “my love for this world and my fellow beings, and the knowledge that inevitably destiny will compel me to leave them some day.”

An eminent colleague has written of Sanat Kar's paintings and prints – “In his early paintings he gave his linear statements an expressionist drag, but he was not a man who would wallow in angst for long. Freeing himself from the nightmares that should have followed … he took off on a fantasy cloud, towards what may be termed on hindsight, ‘the promised land' of his art.

“In his early prints he holds forth a vision based on a simple love for nature … love is a transfiguring emotion, and the images of nature in his prints demonstrate a romantic tenderness, expressed through linear exuberance and gentle coloring. In his recent paintings, his more immediate and intimate world comes into focus. He develops a happy surrealism around it, switching identities and rearranging the familiar, and making them even more desirable.”

A whole world of fantasy is unlocked by Sanat Kar's essentially joyful art, and as the same colleague has remarked “…like all fantasies, it runs ahead of its time …”

About the Artist

Born: 1935 Kolkata

Education: Govt. College of Arts & Crafts, 1955

Exhibitions: 

  • Solo Exhibitions in Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi , Santiniketan
  • Several National & International Shows
  • Founder Member of Society of Contemporary Artists  
  • Innovator of Wood Intaglio, Cardboard Intaglio & Sunmica Engraving
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