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Akbar Padamsee & Francis Newton Souza

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Akbar Padamsee & Francis Newton Souza

Akbar Padamsee

Born: 12 April 1928

  • He is a contemporary Indian artist and painter, considered one of the pioneers in Modern Indian painting along with Raza, Souza and M.F. Hussain.
  • Over the years he has also worked with various mediums from oil painting, plastic emulsion, water colour, sculpture, printmaking, to computer graphics, and photography, as worked a film maker, sculptor, photographer, engraver, and lithographer.
  • Today his paintings are among the most valued by modern Indian artists.
  • His painting Reclining Nude was sold for US$1,426,500 at Sotheby’s in New York on 25 March 2011.
  • He was awarded the Lalit Kala Akademi Fellowship (Lalit Kala Ratna) by the Lalit Kala Akademi, India’s National Academy of Arts, in 1962, the Kalidas Samman from the Madhya Pradesh Government in 1997 for Plastic Arts and the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian honour in 2010.
  • In late 1950, Raza was awarded a French government scholarship, and he invited Padamsee to accompany him to Paris.
  • He left for Paris in 1951, where artist Krishna Reddy introduced him to the surrealist Stanley Hayter, who became his next mentor.
  • He soon joined his studio, “Atelier 17”. His first exhibition was held in Paris in 1952.
  • The artists exhibited anonymously, thus he shared the prize awarded by the French magazine Journal d’Arte with the painter Jean Carzou.

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Francis Newton Souza

Born: 12 April 1924

Died: 28 March 2002

  • He was an Indian artist.
  • He was a founding member of the Progressive Artists’ Group of Bombay, and was the first post-independence Indian artist to achieve high recognition in the West.
  • His style exhibited both low-life and high energy.
  • In 1947 he was a founding member of the Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group which encouraged Indian artists to participate in the international avant-garde.
  • In 1948 his paintings were shown at an exhibition in London’s Burlington House .
  • In 1949 he moved to London, where initially struggling to make an impact as an artist, he worked as a journalist.
  • The Institute of Contemporary Arts included his work in a 1954 exhibition.
  • His success as an artist took off following the publication in 1955 of his autobiographical essay Nirvana of a Maggot in Stephen Spender’s Encounter magazine. Spender introduced Souza to the art dealer Victor Musgrave, the owner of Gallery One.
  • His 1955 exhibit was a sold out, leading to ongoing success.

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