Artist of the month: Nupur Kundu

Nupur Kundu

Nupur Kundu specialized in Fine Arts from the College Of Arts, New Delhi and has been exhibiting her abstract works for more than sixteen years now. She has also achieved a Masters in Indian Classical Dance from Chandigarh University.

 1. What is the best thing about being an artist?

The best thing for being an artist for me is that I have been able to make my passion as also my profession! Very few many people can be doubly blessed this way...

2. Illustration, Claymation or Paintings – What do you enjoy doing the most?

I enjoy painting the most... always have.

3. What inspires you?

Life, my experiences, and certainly the rhythm and movement which I have imbibed from Indian Classical Dance reflect in my paintings in terms of color.

4. How do you manage to work across such a wide variety of mediums?

As I specialized from an Institution like the College of art, New Delhi – I had the opportunity to be exposed to a variety of mediums from a very early stage. I enjoyed the medium of mural a lot and did a lot of mosaics along with painting. Printing was another medium that I have tried my hand at and I particularly enjoy doing Etchings and Mono Prints. Of late I have been doing Fiber Glass and plan to do a series of sculptures for my next Solo Show in Delhi in 2015.

5. How did you decide to join the world of painting?

Since the young age that I started painting, I enjoyed a different kind of freedom that I never felt before. It was probably attributed to the fact that I started painting in the abstract and believed that I could play around with the pigment as I liked – to my heart’s content! I do not remember a time when I chose painting because I always saw my father paint from my childhood and remember always doing myself the same....

6. Which is the most memorable Series you have worked on?

My recent Solo Exhibition titled – ‘The Edge of Colour’ going on at The Lodhi, New Delhi has been indeed a memorable one. It is a series of work of the last two years. I have experimented in a wide palette of colour and enjoyed impasto oils on the surface of my canvas as never before! The palette knife work, the thick impasto paint – it all makes some of the works of these series almost sculptural!

7. Can you give us some examples of the messages you have tried to convey through your paintings?

STATEMENT ON MY WORK -

I endeavor to embody in my work the ineffable in colours. The colors are given freedom to flow, move, and dialogue with each other, share inaudibly and even invisibly the mystery of their being. They carry no thematic burden nor are pushed into the straight – jacket of meanings. They are themselves – in purity, in intense and furious purity. They are a narrative into themselves primarily - ‘Colourscapes’. My work has always been non-representational.

Representational work to me is more in the realm of skill rather than in that of intuition, spontaneity, adventure, search, mystery etc all of which greatly interest and influence me. I would not like to paint an idea but get sensitized by the painting. This has indeed had a great influence in my thinking and practice.

As a matter of fact that the rhythm and colour of Indian classical dance has influenced my work, it is not altogether surprising that I treat colour as performance. On my canvas, particularly the larger one, colours engage in furious dance. My act in fact ‘very performance – oriented’. It is like dancing from one color to another. It is a pure dance creating significant patterns of movement and rhythm covering space without overshadowing it. The space gets painted, in fact, sometimes over-painted.

8. Who is your favourite artist?

During my early years in my career I was greatly inspired by Van Gogh’s Works, one who painted more with the palette knife than the brush and poured great energy and thick paint into his canvas. Also American Abstract Action painter Jackson Pollock’s expressive action paintings imbibed within me a sense of freedom to work the way I started painting. Paul Klee’s naïve works and Henri Matisse’s colour play fascinated me.

Amongst Indian Master’s I relate and really admire the works of Prabhakar Kolte. I have learnt a lot from Ram Kumar’s painted abstractions with impasto applied with a palette knife. But my favourite artist has been Anjolie Ela Menon as I look up to her as complete human being who is so true and complete in her profession and above all - a complete women!

9. If you were not an artist, what would you be?

Dancing was my first love and I had been dancing on stage ever since the age of 5. I performed Kathak on stage for almost eighteen years and also achieved a Sangeet Bhaskar in Indian Classical Dance. In all the more than sixteen years of exhibiting my work, dancing has also been a major part of my inspiration. If I had not been an artist, I certainly would have been continued being an Indian Classical dancer.

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