Born 1968, Mumbai, India.
He secured his BFA from Sir JJ School of Arts, Mumbai. One of those rare artists who have turned successfully from applied arts to pure, he claims a CAG Award (1990) in an altogether different discipline. Sunil has shown his work widely, both here and abroad (Hong Kong, Manheim, Germany). In 1998, he shared the Emerging Artist of the Year prize at the prestigious Harmony Show.
Any attempt to explore Sunil Padwal's work as an artist has to revolve around the man and his relationship with his ‘protagonist.'
Bold, simple, immaculate - are a few adjectives that would describe Sunil and his work. They catch your eye even if you are just passing by, and this glimpse takes you into a journey of thought and reflection.
His ability in the world of graphics is there for all to see. Here he is sure and clear, confident in his line and himself. This comes from his ability to match what his mind's eye sees with what his hand does. It is a gift. Add to that painstaking detail, the dexterous use of which gives finishing touches to the broader picture he initially creates.
But this is only the external picture. To be an artist this obvious gift needs to be married with the psyche of the man. For not only is he creating a picture, he is also imbuing it with life. This life has to be breathed into the work by gifting it with a part of himself. Hence, as all Padwal's work is now channeled through his protagonist, the exploration talked about earlier is necessary.
His protagonist, he says, is an urban man, anywhere in the world, a man hemmed in by the uncaring world in which he lives. He epitomizes the injustices of all systems, where they touch either the mass of the common people or just a single person. He is an individual, faceless, voiceless, one who is unrecognized, undistinguished from those he represents.
This figure, full of pain, is enchained like an eyeless, lock-shorn Samson, by his own doubts in this Philistine world. Sometimes, he has been seen as a small figure overwhelmed by the enormous canvas of the city. He makes faces, grimaces, demands attention but cannot get it. Or in his moments of doubt and grief, we see him, head within his arms, face turned away. He cannot cry out – he has no mouth, no voice. No eyes, he wants not to see. The use of colour depicts moods and depths of despair. And yet there is no specific object to fear or to hate. It is only his damaged psyche to be depicted. There have been vertical streaks raining down the canvas. Tears? Prison bars? Bars created by inequality, tears of anguish? Or frustration? Or rage?
Sunil has said, when asked about his need for the protagonist,”...What am I then? An artist without a brush?” So the protagonist is not just a vehicle for the artist, he is his alter ego and, if Sunil will accept it, the very core of himself.
And since Sunil Padwal's work is to project a complex set of emotions of a psyche beset, there is no story to tell. So, his work will be judged by his ability to convey what we would like to call his inner self. And by the depth and emotional interpretation that he is able to portray.
In this series, we see great use of mood creating colours. He has moved further away from the flat background. But the protagonist is there, still brooding, enigmatic, imbued within stillness and yet there is vibrancy, a nervous tension.
1989 Bachelor of Fine Arts (Applied Art), Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art, Mumbai.
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2011-12 'Soliloquies : Notes from the Drawing Book', Gallery BMB, Mumbai.
2008 'Myopia', Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai.
2007 'Numb', Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi.
2000 Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai.
1997 Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai.
1994 'Face to Face', Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai.
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2013 'Confluence des Arts' a group show of 100 artists at Gallery Artchill, Amber Fort , jaipur.
2011 'At Walden Pond', Gallery Beyond, Mumbai.
2011 'Paper Tongues', Exhibit 320, New Delhi.
2010,11 'Public Enemy Number 1', Exhibit 320, New Delhi.
2010 'Love to Live', Palette Art Gallery, New Delhi.
2010 'A. SYCO', The Viewing Room, Mumbai.
2010 'The Way We Are', Mon Art Gallerie, Kolkata.
2010 'Figures in Sculptures and Paintings', Jamaat Art Gallery, Mumbai.
2009 'Beyond the Form', Bajaj Capital Art House; Visual Art Gallery, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi and Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai.
2009 'New Fables: Contemporary Voices', Gandhara Art Gallery, Kolkata.
2009 'Deep In Black', Galerie Muller and Plate, Munich.
2008 'Faces', Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai.
2008 'X at the rate of Jehangir', presented by Art Musings at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai.
2008 'Postvisual World', Priyasri Art Gallery, Mumbai.
2008 'Different Strokes', Tulika Arts Gallery, Mumbai.
2007 'Embodied', Art and Soul, Mumbai.
2007 'Understanding Oneness in Diversity', Kitab Mahal, Mumbai.
2000 'Artistree- A Tribute to the Female Figurative Form', Gallery Pagasus, New Delhi.
2000 'A Sorrowful Mystery-Jesus Christ', National Gallery Of Modern Art (NGMA), Mumbai.
2000 'Indian Contemporary', Visual Arts Centre, Hong Kong.
1999 'Flashback,Flashforward', a RPG Art Show at Jehangir Art GAllery, Mumbai.
1999 'Art with Heart', National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Mumbai.
1998 'Art for CRY', Y.B. Chavan Art Gallery, Mumbai.
1997 'A page from my Diary', Sans Tache Art Gallery, Mumbai.
1997 Galerie Martini, Hong-kong.
1997 'Fifty Years of Freedom of Expression', Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai.
1997 'Fifty Years of Freedom', Natonal GAllery of Modern Art (NGMA), Mumbai.
1996 Three Visions, Hong-Kong.
1996 The Arts Trust Collection, Y.B.Chavan Art Gallery, Mumbai.
1996 'A Tribute to Mother Teressa', Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, Kolkata.
1995 Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai
2012 'Art for Humanity', Coomaraswamy Hall, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai.
2012 'Synergy 2012', 12th Anniversary Show, Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai.
2010 'Master’s Corner', organized by Indian Contemporary Art Journal at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai; India International Art Fair, New Delhi.
2010 'Contemporary Printmaking In India', presented by Priyasri Art Gallery, Mumbai at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai; Priyasri Art Gallery, Mumbai.
2010 'Evolve: 10th Anniversary Show', Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai.
2009 'The Miniature Format Show', Sans Tache Gallery, Mumbai.
1996-2000 'Harmony Show', Nehru Centre, Mumbai.