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Maker(s):Sunil Madhav Sen
Culture:Indian (1910-1979)
Title:Untitled (Scroll)
Date Made:1970's
Materials:oil on cloth
Measurements:overall: 70 in x 18 in; 177.8 cm x 45.7 cm
Accession Number:  AC 2011.36
Credit Line:Gift of Leonard Gordon (Class of 1959) in memory of Professor Frank Trapp
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

Label Text:
This work recalls Bengali patas (narrative scrolls) and yet it eschews any clear storytelling function. Sen, instead, filled the vertical cloth support with depictions of Hindu gods (Shiva and Parvati appear at the scroll’s center) and tantric images and symbols, alongside auto-biographical inscriptions in English and Bengali (Bangla).

Sen obtained his law degree at the University of Calcutta, but would later decide to also pursue the study of art. He did so in an entirely informal capacity, learning from Abanindranath Tagore (1871–1951), Jamini Roy, and other leading Bengali artists of the day. Like Roy, he drew heavily upon local, vernacular traditions, but with very different results. As this painted scroll shows, Sen was in particular interested in esoteric themes, which he combined with motifs, signs, and a writing style inspired by popular, urban culture. Sen was an early member of the short-lived Calcutta Group (1943–53), an artist collective whose objectives were populist and international in scope.

abstract; animals; creatures; bright; circles; eye; faces; inscriptions; narrative; shape; suns; symbolism

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