About the artist
Akbar Padamsee was one of the pioneers of Modern Indian painting closely associated with the Progressive Artists’ Group (PAG) which was formed in 1947 by Francis Newton Souza, S.H. Raza, and M.F. Husain. The group was to have a lasting impact on Indian art.
Akbar Padamsee constantly reflected on the relationship between forms, colours, and space. He analyzed and confronted Western and Asian aesthetic theories while relentlessly exploring new forms of expressions to create works of great intensity. His topics included landscapes, nudes, heads and he has done portraits created in pencil and charcoal. Padamsee’s pioneering spirit has allowed him to experiment with a wide range of media, from oil on canvas, to photography, digital printmaking and film making.
Born in Mumbai (1928), Padamsee received a Diploma in Fine Arts from the Sir J.J. School of Art in 1951 and moved to Paris the same year. His first exhibition was held in Paris in 1952. His very first solo show was held at the Jehangir Art Gallery in Mumbai in 1954, and soon he became one of leading artists. He received the Lalit Kala Akademi Fellowship in 1962, a fellowship by the Rockefeller Foundation in 1965 and was subsequently invited to be an artist-in-residence by the University of Wisconsin–Stout. He returned to India in 1967. Padamsee has had several solo shows and has participated in countless group exhibition in India and across the globe.
He was awarded Kalidas Samman by the Madhya Pradesh Government (1998) and Lalit Kala Ratna, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi (2004). He was honoured with Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian honour in 2010.
Padamsee passed away on the January 6, 2020, at the age of 91, in Tamil Nadu.