Sunil Das is one of the giants of India 's contemporary
art scene. The many dimensions of his talent are best
viewed through the eyes and minds of eminent contemporaries
and critics, and of those who have known him well.
I for one, have always been impressed by Sunil's
adventurous attitude towards his work, which has always
prompted him to try out new ideas, new techniques and
His most remarkable works revolve around
the theme of a) man-woman relationships, b) woman in
her sexual empowerment, and c) in her loneliness
have always been haunted by the mysterious looking
women who frequently appear on Sunil's canvases. Their
eyes shine like two gems from the infinite darkness
of their sockets. Their faces painted in white against
a white background, framed by dark flowing hair and
their bodies endowed with all the attributes of the
leave an indelible impression upon
(the viewer's) mind. Paritosh Sen.
Even today his horse compositions are spectacular,
the result of a painstaking commitment since his student
days, when he drew more than 5000 mood pictures of
these magnificent animals giving his canvases a sense
of speed and movement that had a staggering effect.
It went on to fetch him a National Award when he was
only a third year student at Art College . Swapan
As an avant garde painter he is not afraid to experiment: I
use any material that appeals to me, thread, lac, gauze,
vegetable dyes and burnt plastic'
by his choice and
arrangement of visual images and materials the artist
offers a way of ordering the flux of experience
best art floats an atmosphere of infinite suggestion
Sunil Das' large canvases, with their
stunning graphics, exquisite color, and even the empty
spaces, can hit the viewer between the eyes
art is Yeats' art of the whole man
intellect running together
the fury and the mire
of human veins, the foul rag and bone shop and man's
blood sodden heart"
It is perhaps the grandeur of his vision that transfigures
every image that he creates, whether figurative or
it is this grandeur that created the cult
of his horse studies
(it) is not something that only
permeates his vibrant studies of bulls and horses,
it also strikes one in his drawings of refugees at
Sealdah Station, and lights the eyes of the 0' and
abused women prostitutes whose humanity humbles one.
Indeed his drawings are not easy to emulate. They have
a profound authenticity in both time and feeling. He
explains this, I give you new eyes, the eyes with
which you can see the new aspect of time'
another rider, I give you new eyes, the eyes with
which you can see yourself.' And you suddenly awaken
to the fact that the new aspect of time is yourself.
Every moment you are growing. Every moment you are
changing. The you' of yesterday is not the you' of
today; but you are not some rootless flotsam. You are
part of that great entity: humanity. And its whole
history belongs to you visually through his drawings.
He is not on a quest to ferret out time from dredged
out memories. His past serves to define the future
but not limit it. This can be seen in the way he threads
his manner from the representational a horse, a bull,
a face, an eye, a hand, a beak, a claw to the twilight
zone of signs, and then on to the liberty of strokes,
blots and smudges that are cathartic.
About the Artist
Born: 1939, Kolkata
Education: Govt. College of Arts & Crafts,
Kolkata; Ecole Nationale Superior de Beaux Arts, Paris
- 88 Solos in India & Abroad
- 364 Group shows in India & Abroad
Founder member of Society of Contemporary Artists