Although Shuvaprasanna's artistic career unraveled in the 1970's,
his art is rooted in the ethos of the pioneering '60's. He
connects in spirit with those artists who worked in the figurative
mode with meticulous attention to craftsmanship, and whose
work crystallized from an overwhelming emotional response to
the realities of their environment. They were liberal spirits,
unfettered by artistic `dogmas' about form or content, and
while confidently rooted in their perceptual reality they looked
for universal values in their art.
But, in the words of art critic Manasij Majumdar, "(Shuvaprasanna)
enriches this trend by bringing to bear on his work, densely impacted
conceptual and pictorial precisions ... (which) lend his imagery
an unusual visual intensity ... (he) comprehends the subject with
passionate empathy or ironic detachment ...His themes come from
his personal interactions with Calcutta's urban milieu - its sickness
and sordidness, its violence and vulnerability and all that compounds
its existential agony in an out-of-joint time."
His splendid series in charcoals and
acrylic created to mark Calcutta's tercentenary year
in 1990, forcefully evokes in black, white and sepia
the stunning paradoxes that define Calcutta's singular
ambience - the crowds and the emptiness, the traffic
and the smog, palatial mansions and rubbish heaps,
magnificent statues and predatory birds, homeless children
and great humanitarians, the unique skyline and, above
all, that extraordinary vitality that enables the city
In the artist's own words "Long before the English merchants
reached its shores, Calcutta was dominated by large mosquitoes
and scavenger storks. Then there were the black dacoits of Calcutta
and the Goddess of darkness ... are you looking for a riot of color?
Let your eyes turn inwards and you will find how easy it is to
locate within black whatever color you have been seeking ... Calcutta
is a wonder of wonders, a city of contradictions, light and shade,
black and white ..."
The emotionally charged images of his earlier works, and also his
later paintings and prints, reflect "his exceptional power
to grasp the facts of reality in terms of sparse motifs of no anecdotal
content, or as one critic rightfully observes, of no 'personal
countenance', but severely abstracted and transformed into visuals
invested with layers of incisive symbolic or metaphorical meaning."
Along with his cityscapes the artist has also done a sequence of
bird images in his `Ave' and `Amphibious' drawings, prints and
paintings. A vivid
imagination and powerfully meticulous craft are imaged in the way
he structures, stroke by meticulous stroke, infinite variations
on a single motif.
In Shuvaprasanna's latest works, the earlier starkness and angst
have mutated into richer colors and quieter themes and representations.
But energy and empathy, dramatic force and richly textured symbolism,
personal emotion and impeccable technique still impress on his
works the conviction of truth that defines the work of an 'original'
About the Artist
Born: 1947 Kolkata
Education: Graduated from Indian
College of Art, Rabindra Bharati University
• Over 25 Solo Exhibitions in Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Madras, Bangladesh,
Germany, Switzerland & Singapore
• Over 25 Group Exhibitions in Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Madras, Bangladesh,
Cuba, Germany, Turkey, U.K, U.S.A
• 1979 AIFACS New Delhi
• 1978 State Lalit Kala Academy West Bengal
• 1977 Birla Academy West Bengal
Founder Member of "Art 8c Artists', Kolkata Founded Arts Acre
Artists Village in Kolkata Founded College of Visual Arts Kolkata
Member Calcutta Painters, Calcutta Member CIRCA, Geneve, Switzerland