Renowned for his vast array of impressionist artworks, Sudip Roy is one of India’s leading contemporary artists. This exhibition showcases his many experiments with abstraction in self-expression, transforming picturesque townscapes and landscapes to their stripped-down basics, using geometric shapes and a dynamic colour palette. Drawing inspiration from Van Gogh, Sudip also enjoys making arbitrary use of colour to express himself through his art, instead of simply replicating what his eyes see.
Over the years, his proficiency with and fondness for fluidity in art led to his colour strokes embodying both form and formlessness, in the form of vivid non-representational modes of art, and canvases that are as timeless as they are unique. His art draws upon his personal, intimate, and solitary experiences with the spaces he inhabits and engages with, and his sense of being, each of which have helped drive his stylistic evolution.
Having started off painting on canvas and paper, in 2002, he began experimenting with colour and form on small, stainless steel projects. As his style evolved, he particularly enjoyed working with mirror steel and aluminium, even while continuing to paint on canvas. One of the most characteristic aspects of his paintings is how they create an environment of their own, using the colour and forms. In doing so, the paintings tell a story of their own, instead of just the subjects. With mirror steel especially, the viewer always becomes a part of the painting whenever they stand in front of it, owing to their reflection on the steel, continuously changing the colours and form they envisage. He has also worked on a number of installations using steel and aluminum, as well as fibreglass, as he enjoys working with different mediums, using vivid, and sometimes contrasting colours.
His journey from representation to abstraction has had a key dominant theme – a desire for a deeper and more contained formless yet discerning spiritual expression. The artist likens this to what Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky calls the artist’s “inner necessity,” one of the biggest influencing factors for an artist throughout his life and work. As such, his choice of colours and shapes all serve to free themselves from the conventional structures, rules, and expectations, and instead, portray a deeply spiritual and personal portrait of the objects and things he paints.
Over the four decades of his practice, Sudip’s works embody a recurring theme of renewal and metamorphosis in organic imagery, leveraging the foundational firmament of colours and contour. With a colour palette ranging from strong to soft, and sombre to meditative, his abstract representations often represent elements of nature in wedges of land, water, the sky, rocks and vegetation, sunlight, shade, and even moisture and mist. They push the very boundaries of possibilities when it comes to colour, line, and form, just as Sudip himself moves across various disciplines of painting, poetry, and musical compositions.
His work captures the very essence of the human spirit, that is as dynamic as it is volatile, by embracing the purity of abstract forms and colour symbolism, utilising subtle tonal variations to infuse his canvases with a sense of movement and energy. Hence, many of his creations comprise a bevy of dark planes, brisk zones, and abstract colourful masses, using several different perspectives, as well as broad, narrow, and flat planes of colour.