Analytical Work by Anupam Sud

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Analytical study of the artwork by Anupam Sud.
The art of printmaking, as we know it today, is an artistic method appreciated for its unique technical qualities and its immense vocabulary as a specialized field of fine art. Printmaking is the process with which a wide range of materials and diversity of techniques are associated, which offers the artist varied possibilities for experimentation. Anupam Sud was born in 1944 at Hoshiarpur in Punjab. She passed her Diploma in Fine Art from the College of Art, Delhi and an advanced course in printmaking from the Slade School of Art in London on a British Council scholarship. She headed the printmaking department at the Delhi College of Art for several years. She has been a teacher and a mentor to many young artists of today. She is also known for her fine drawings and paintings. Her work breathes a unique freshness- with traces of sculptural contours in some and hints of warmth of oils in others. Though her work features both men and women and often in the nude, her sympathies are feminist and the oeuvre introspective and somewhat brooding or haunting, concerning itself with common human predicaments of ambiguity and hypocrisy. As an educationist and founding member of the printmakers guild and subsequently the mini prints exhibition that she had curated which toured several Indian cities, she has been able to win for graphics a place within the folds of recognized art forms. Anupam works at her home-studio in village Mandi, isolated by verdure and green fields, several miles away from the churning of Delhi’s streets. When we compare the work of Anupam sud with the great printmaker of the past, like Albert Durer, Daumier, Kathe kollowitz who used print-making for its monochromatic power of statement, Anupam, on the contrary, uses its language of metaphor. Sud's art consolidates her humanistic leanings over her feminist ones, reflecting upon the nature of humanity in all its forms. She works, one might say, with a social and political consciousness that may not be radical, but affects a subtle intervention by speculation rather than statement. Her deep knowledge of past artistic traditions, of the cultural dynamics that prevail in the Indian context and topical events is the trigger that ignites her imagination. The sweet bitter taste of life that occurs in the wider world of everyday experience engages this artist. The themes of manipulation, the relationship of power to predicament, of powerlessness and temptation, human fallibility and trappings, the masked existence of urban people, the inertia of government structures, are some of the recurrent themes that engage Anupam's thought process.

When encountering Anupam's work, what strikes one immediately is her 'sensuality of seeing'. Whether humans or objects, they are represented in their full-bodied corporeality- their skin and flesh, texture and volume captured most effectively by well-delineated contours and in the black and white (light and dark) ambiance of etching. It is her eye, and an acute sense of the 'optic' that guides her hand in shaping the physical reality of things. Anupam remains a committed realist, even to the extent of sometimes being photographic. This sense of realism is not reduced to a sterile function of flawless copying, but refined by an intuitive vision of the perceived object in the pictorial construction. The narrative itself is packed with telling details which provide important clues to the social satire, the wit and the clever ridicule infused in the infinite oddities of human situations. Anupam, I think intentionally confounds both the subjective and objective worlds, where the obscure is sighted, the uncanny revealed and the incomprehensible called to account. Sud operates outside the narrow boundaries of 'art for art's sake'. The dual nature of reality fascinates her and is seen in her interest in polarized situations. Disqualifying traditional iconography as unsuitable to her...
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