A view into India’s Pioneering Printmaker, Anupam Sud’s “Between Vows and Words” Showcase with Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Delhi

Anupam Sud, Dining with Ego, 1999 Etching and intaglio on archival paper 900X500 (1)

As one of the finest and pioneering printmakers in India – Anupam Sud is known for her existentialist art. And after over 50 years of practice, the intensity of her etchings is unbelievably intriguing and is in a class by itself. Not one to love labels, her art withstands any and all boundaries, however, Sud’s fascination with humanity and its temperaments is consistent in all her pieces. Curated by Roobina Karode, a collection of her work titled – Between Vows and Words is now exhibited with Kiran Nadar Museum of Art at Saket, Delhi. They will have shows running until the end of October and her new collection is too good to miss!

Image courtesy and collection: Kiran Nadar Museum of Art

An artist’s evolution….

From being a student of painting to later becoming a reputed teacher of printmaking in Delhi, her journey as an artist is inspiring and commendable. She has been one of the first few women to carve her niche in the male-dominated world of print, where her focus has always been on addressing social issues through symbolism. In her words, “Printmaking can never be totally predictable. It is like a sunrise over a landscape. You know what is about to unfold but never cease to be surprised by the revelation”. Her journey took her to London at an early age, when she earned a Commonwealth scholarship to study at the Slade School of Fine Art, London in 1971. She studied and practiced art abroad from where she brought the knowledge of printing in abundance for the generations of students who are inspired today and are carving their own path.

Image courtesy and collection: Kiran Nadar Museum of Art

Dark before Dawn…

Anupam’s expressions in art are heavily influenced by the life experiences she witnessed of herself and those around her. Her work is particularly cinematic and has dark and mysterious tones yet has a contrasting light composition blended to create a scenic wonder. This technique of playing with light and shade is called Chiaroscuro which Sud has mastered over the years as seen in some of her noteworthy pieces. Even her latest work is the manifestation of the strange life drama in the realm suspended between light and dark, theatric words and broken vows. 

Image courtesy and collection: Kiran Nadar Museum of Art

A window into Between Vows and Words…

Anupam’s symbolic universe is a dimly lit backstage where men and women rehearse their scripted roles and seductive power, impersonating characters from mythological and everyday narratives, and adorn or undress their bodies in the never-ending costume drama and rituals of life. Often presented in a theme of puzzle or games, there is a sense of humor and playfulness to her work, whereas the visual clues and word puns adds the mystery element. She brilliantly renders a cinematic quality in her artwork from the collection and it will take a viewer on a ride of interpretations, retrospections, and emotions. 

Image courtesy and collection: Kiran Nadar Museum of Art


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