Sunil Das’ oeuvre is dominated by renditions of horses, masterfully delineated, besides the other themes and subjects he ventured into, ranging from animals, politics, frescoes, employing numerous mediums such as charcoal, paints, ink, acrylic, burnt foil and oil. However, his portrayal of horses occupies an irrefutable position in his practice. Inspired by the animal’s anatomy while he spent countless hours at the Mountain Police stables in central Calcutta in order to fund his studies, Das minutely observed the complex musculature and movements of the animal. Utilizing his skill and technique, he rendered the same on a surface mimicking the motions outstandingly, almost bringing the horses to life on paper.\n\nIn this pen and ink, and watercolour on paper, the artist has depicted the horse upside down, as if the form is falling from a great height into an endless abyss. Contrarily, the unusual positioning of the animal could be a way to approach the irresistible energy of the magnificent creature. The hurried, spontaneous strokes of brush and pen, betray a sense of immediacy- a peculiar trait of Das’ artistic vocabulary. The representation captures the animal’s vitality and strength, its sinuous muscles and curved form keenly observed and transferred onto the pictorial surface meticulously by the artist.
Untitled by Sunil Das
Born in Kolkata, Sunil Das trained at Government College of Art and Craft, Kolkata, followed by the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Das’ signature subjects were his powerful drawings of bulls and horses, though his repertoire also included striking portraits of women. His finest animal studies were rendered in charcoal on paper, though the same subjects, when interpreted on canvas took on an equally rich yet seemingly different character. The artist never hesitated while experi-menting with mediums, styles and techniques, though his subject matter remained relatively constant.