About the artist
Manu Parekh was born in 1939, Gujarat and graduated in Arts from the Sir JJ School of Art, Mumbai in 1962. Always interested in acting, he joined the National School of Drama. His career in design began at Weavers’ Service Centre of Pupul Jayakar as art designer, thereafter he joined as a Design Consultant at Handloom and Handicrafts Export Corporation in New Delhi. Parekh left the corporation later to pursue his career as a freelance artist.
The artist is greatly influenced by European and Indian masters: Pablo Picasso, Arshile Gorky, Roberto Matta, Rabindranath Tagore and Ram Kinker Baij. Banaras as a city came to play an integral role in Parekh’s work after his first visit there following his father’s death. This holy city of hope, of faith, of tourists offered him a vast number of possibilities and contradictions in one location. His landscapes are known for his intuitive use of colour, bold brushstrokes and prominent lines. Parekh has experimented with colourful abstractions, sexual imagery, figuration, responding as much to nature as daily life and social issues. The energy of the organic form and the inherent sexuality within these forms are intangible elements in his works. His paintings provoke viewers to take notice of the world around them through the emotion, pain and anguish expressed in the subjects of his paintings. His colors and forms exude a volatile energy that can barely be contained within the confines of his canvas, and become an extension of the artist’s personality.
Manu Parekh’s works have been showcased in numerous exhibitions held in India and abroad and are part of several important public and private collections, such as the National Gallery of Modern Art, Lalit Kala Akademi, Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Kolkata and others. He has participated in two Triennales in India in 1975 and 1978. In the last two years his two major retrospectives were held at the prestigious NGMA at New Delhi in 2017 and thereafter at NGMA, Mumbai, in 2018. Recipient of many prestigious awards: Birla Academy of Art and Culture award in 1971 and 1991, AIFACS award in 1971 and 1974, Silver Plaque of the President of India in 1972, The National Art Award from the Lalit Kala Akademi in 1982. Government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri in 1992.
Parekh is married to well known contemporary artist Madhvi. The couple has been living in New Delhi since 1974.