In our contemporary art context, where most artists have turned to mixed media and new media, it is rare to come across a landscape painter who is able to evoke the joy and the mystification of an urban landscape in a manner that Soumen Das does.
Stylistically Soumen could be seen as a Neo Pointillist, reviving the technique that was explored by Surat and Paul Signac in Paris and later by painter N S Bendre in India. Pointillism is a technique where pure colour is broken into a distinct series of small dots. The colours are applied in patterns to form an image. In fact Pointillism has been considered the forerunner of the CMYK printing process.
However Soumen adds to that technique, by creating several layers of colour to build up the painting over a long period of time. As a result it is not just the dots that make up the image but a mesh of lines, layers and textures that lie under the colourful subterfuge of dots.
What we are finally left with is a concentration of colours, forms and textures that evoke a landscape that is purely constructed and purely art. It is does not emulate reality, in fact Soumen’s paintings create a reality of their own. The bright palette creates a celebratory mood. The works display a profusion of primary colours, blues, yellows and reds, and secondary colours like green and orange. There is a deep beauty and stillness but not necessarily calm, indicated in his paintings. Despite the several layers that Soumen applies, some of the works have a certain raw and unfinished quality to it, as though he were trying to make sense of the world we live in and sharing this cerebral process with us through these paintings.
Soumen Das obtained the BFA and MFA degrees in painting, from MS University in Vadodara, in 1995 and 1997 respectively. His solo shows included several in Mumbai, Kolkata and Vadodara. Exhibits at Galerie 88 in Kolkata, and at Hacienda in Mumbai have been some of his shows. Das has participated in group shows in Singapore and New York as well. He participated in the annual show, The Baroda March, by Rukshaan Art in 2013, 2014 and 2015 held in Mumbai. His latest solo show, The Painted Palace was held at The Stainless Gallery, Delhi in 2014 by Rukshaan Art.