Swapan Kumar Das
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.
Kanagawa International Print Exhibition Japan
2005 11 the Triennale India, N. Delhi
2004, 1991, 1981 Bharat Bhavan International Biennial of Prints
2003, 2000 Triennale Mondiale Chamalieres France
1989, 1987 3 rd International Biennial of Prints, Taipei
1989 Norwegian International Print Triennial
1987 INTERGRAFIK, Berlin, East Germany
1986 2 and 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, All India
1987, ,86, ,85, ,83, ,82, ,81, ,78 Lalit Kala Academy, National
1986 Lalit Kala Academy, Delhi, Graphics
1985 Lalit Kala Academy, Delhi, Youth
1986, 1976-,83 Maha Kosal Kala Prasad, M.P
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. Delhi
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 Award Norway
ABOUT THE ARTIST
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 is 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.