Eyes, Windows Into The Soul: The Maya of Sanat Kar

By Kerala Museum

Sanat Kar (1991-10-28/1991-10-28)Kerala Museum

Sanat Kar is a well-known Indian artist who brought new dimensions and fresh perspectives to printmaking. Born in 1935, Kar gained his diploma in painting from the Government College of Arts and Crafts in Kolkata in 1955. 
 He used sustainable materials such as wood and cardboard to create prints and revolutionalised printmaking in India. 

Untitled (1991) by Sanat KarKerala Museum

Kar devised new techniques known as cardboard-intaglio printing and sun-mica printing. Through a few strokes of line and colour, these artworks express states of emotion that we can each relate to in various ways. 

The  eyes continues to  remain as the centre of the artist’s creativity. The wide eyes, which like windows that engulf the viewer, are one of the key attractions of these works.

Fear, wonder, childlike curiosities and many other emotions are portrayed in these eyes.

Maya - 20, Sanat Kar, 1991, From the collection of: Kerala Museum
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Maya - 18, Sanat Kar, 1991, From the collection of: Kerala Museum
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These two works are from his series, called "Maya," The figures have a gentle feel and raise unsettling questions of mystery, leaving viewers wondering what this figure is thinking…

Sanat Kar's Letter, 1991-10-28/1991-10-28, From the collection of: Kerala Museum
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R. Madhavan Nayar's Letter, 1991-11-22/1991-11-22, From the collection of: Kerala Museum
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A peek into the correspondence shared between Artist Sanat Kar and R Madhavan Nayar (Founder of Kerala Museum - Madhavan Nayar Foundation). Sanat Kar beautifully gives a comprehensive description of his works. He explains the inspiration and the thought behind each series of his works. 

Radha Series (1991) by Sanat KarKerala Museum

The choice of colours and the contrast of light give the figure a sense of eerie void and melancholy mood. In this work, Radha grips her lover's flute and brushes her cheek against it, expressing how much she longs for Krishna.

Members of the Society of Contemporary ArtistsKerala Museum

Society of Contemporary Artists

Sanat Kar (seated below, second from left) is one of the founder members and first secretary of the Society of Contemporary Artists, created in 1960, to provide a platform for young artists to network, opportunities to collaborate and exhibit works.

Image courtesy: DAG Modern

Credits: Story

Story Content Created: 
Gopika Krishnan L
Jyothi Elza George 

Content Editors
Arundhathy Nayar
Aditi Nayar

Malayalam Translator
Geeta Nayar

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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