About the Artist
Francis Newton Souza was one of the influential modern painters from India. He is often mentioned as the The ‘enfant terrible’ of Modern Indian Art. He was a founding member of the Progressive Artists’ Group (PAG) of Bombay. Souza’s style exhibited both decadence and primitivism.
Like other great artists of the 20th century, Souza was neither daunted by tradition nor disparaging of contemporary visual culture. Instead he adopted various notions and visual references from such sources as the old masters, his contemporaries, and commercial imagery appropriating them to create his own distinct works. Over the course of his six-decade career, Souza experimented with a number of genres and styles, but it’s probably his strong figurative practice, his line drawings and series of ‘black paintings’ produced in London during the 1950s and 1960s for which he is most famous.
Souza was not only a prolific painter but also a writer, poet and even philosopher.
Souza was born (1924) to Goan Catholic parents in the village of Saligão in Goa. He and his mother moved to Mumbai in 1929. Souza attended St. Xavier’s College in Bombay and then studied at the Sir J. J. School of Art in Bombay. He was expelled from that school in 1945 for participating in the Quit India Movement. Souza joined the Communist Party of India soon after, and co-founded the Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group in 1947. Souza emigrated to London in 1949 and then to New York city in the US in 1967.
F.N Souza passed away in March 2002 n Mumbai.