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Akbar Padamsee View Artworks of Akbar Padamsee Back to Artist

He donned many hats at one go as he has experimented with a range of media, from oil on canvas to photography and digital printmaking. Akbar Padamsee, the artist who is known the most for his distinct focus on forms and colours was born in Mumbai in 1928.

He studied at the JJ School of Arts in Mumbai, following which he went to live and work in France. In 1952, he was awarded a prize by Andre Breton on behalf of the journnale d’ art and his first solo exhibition was held in Paris the same year at Galerie Saint Placide.

In 1965, he visited New York on a JD Rockfeller Foundation Award. He held an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Montreal. He also received the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship in 1969.

Since the seventies, his work can be seen alternating between two major genres he works with – luminous metascapes that embody his signature style and the human figure. He also has a deep interest in Sanskrit scriptures, the influence of which an be found in some of his metascapes. But he remains best known for his faces which are umatched even today.

Padamsee has participated in several biennales in Sao, Paolo, Brazil, Tokyo and Venice.

‘The Body Unbound’, held at Rubin Museum of Art, New York in 2011-12; ‘Sensitive Surfaces’, at Galerie Helen Lamarque, Paris in 2008 are among his recent solo exhibitions. His recent participations include ‘Art for Humanity’, at Coomaraswamy Hall, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj VastuSangrahalaya, Mumbai in 2012; ‘Crossings: Time Unfolded, Part 2’, at Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi, in 2012.

He lives and works in Mumbai.



 1951 Diploma, Sir J.J.School of Art, Mumbai  


Selected Solo Exhibitions  

  2013 'Past Forward', Priyasri Art Gallery, Mumbai

 2013 'A Visual Metaphor', Giclee Prints on Canvas at India Fine Art, Mumbai

 2013 Presented by Priyasri Art Gallery, Mumbai at India Art Fair, New Delhi

  2013 'Lithographs and Photographs', Art Heritage, Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi

  2011-12 'The Body Unbound', Rubin Museum of Art, New York

  2010 Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

  2010 'Body Parts', The Loft, Mumbai

  2010 Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

  2008 ‘Sensitive Surfaces’, Galerie Helene Lamarque, Paris

  2007 ‘Metascape to Humanscape’, Aicon Gallery, Palo Alto

  2006 Metascape to Humanscape’, Aicon Gallery, New York

 2006 Photographs (2004-06), Guild Art Gallery, Mumbai

 2005 Gallery Threshold and the French Embassy in India, New Delhi

  2004 Retrospective of Watercolors, Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

  2003 ‘Critical Boundaries’, Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

  2002 ‘Drawing Show’, Gallery Chemould, Mumbai

  2002 ‘Tertiaries’, Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

  1999 ‘Compugraphics’, Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai and Art Heritage, New Delhi

  1997 ‘Imaging Gandhi’, Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

  1996 ‘Female Nudes’, Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

  1994 ‘Mirror Images’, Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

  1993 Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

  1993 ‘Heads’, Sakshi Gallery, Bangalore

  1992 Art Heritage, New Delhi

  1992 Sanskriti Art Gallery, Kolkata

  1988 Art Heritage, New Delhi and Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai

  1986 Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

  1980 Retrospective of works organized by Art Heritage, New Delhi and Mumbai

  1981 Urja Gallery, Baroda

  1975 Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

  1974 ‘Metascapes’, Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

  1972 ‘Metascapes’, Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

  1967 Museum of Contemporary Art, Montreal

  1963 Gallery ’63, New York

  1962 KunikaChemould Art Centre, New Delhi

  1960 Painting in Grey, Gallery ’59, Mumbai

  1957 Galerie de Ventadour, France

  1954 Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai

 1953 Gallery Raymond Creure, Paris

1952GalerieSaintPlacide,Paris SelectedGroupExhibitions  

2017 'Events in Cloud Chamber: Documents from Vision Exchange Workshop', Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA), New Delhi

  2013 'Pioneers of Modernism', Sovereign FZE, Dubai

2013 'Nothing is Absolute: A Journey through Abstraction', The Jehangir Nicholson Gallery at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj VastuSangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai

  2012 'Talking Heads', Art Alive Gallery, New Delhi

2012 'Gallery Collection', Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

2012 'Rewind , Review ... ', Gallery Threshold, New Delhi 2012 'Contemporary: A Selection of Modern and Contemporary Art', prsented by Sakshi Gallery at The Park, Chennai

 2011 'Form and Formlessness', Art Alive Gallery, Gurgaon

 2011 'States of Departure: Progressives to Present Day', Aicon Gallery, London

2011 'POP: Progressives on Paper', Aicon Gallery, New York

2011 'Masterclass', Dhoomimal Art Gallery, New Delhi

2010-11 'Figure/Landscape: Part Two', Aicon Gallery, London

2010 'Figure/Landscape: Part One', Aicon Gallery, New York

2010 'The Progressives & Associates', Grosvenor Gallery, London

2010 'Black and White', Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai

2010 'From Miniature to Modern: Traditions in Transition', Rob Dean Art, London in association with Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

2010 'Black is Beautiful', India Fine Art, Mumbai

2010 'Masters of Maharashtra', collection from Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi at Piramal Gallery, National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai

2009 'Bharat Ratna! Jewels of Modern Indian Art', Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 2009 'Indian Art After Independence: Selected Works from the Collections of Virginia & Ravi Akhoury and Shelley & Donald Rubin', Emile Lowe Gallery, Hempstead

2009 'Sacred and Secular', India Fine Art, Mumbai

2009 'Think Small', Art Alive Gallery, New Delhi

2009 'Progressive to Altermodern: 62 Years of Indian Modern Art', Grosvenor Gallery, London

2008 'Faces', Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai

2008 ‘Freedom 2008 – Sixty Years of Indian Independence’, Centre for International Modern Art (CIMA), Kolkata

2007-08 ‘India Art Now: Between Continuity and Transformation’, Province of Milan, Milan, Italy

2007 ‘Winter Show’, Aicon Gallery, Palo Alto

 2006 Centre for International Modern Art (CIMA) Gallery, Kolkata   2006 ‘Shadow Lines’, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

 2006 'Drawing Show an Act of Art II', Priyasri Art Gallery, Mumbai

2005 Contemporary Indian Art, Nehru Center, London

 2005 ‘Visions of Landscape’, Guild Art Gallery, Mumbai

 2005 Ashta Nayak: Eight Pioneers of Indian Art', Aicon Gallery, New York

 2005 Gallery Threshold, New Delhi

2004 ‘Anticipations’, Fine Arts Resource, Mumbai

2004 ‘Concept and Form’, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

2004 Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai  2002Saffronart and Pundole Gallery, New York

2002 'Words and Images', Guild Art Gallery, Mumbai

 2001 Saffronart and Pundole Gallery, New York

2001 'Engendering Images of a Woman', Guild Art Gallery, Mumbai

2000 'Rare Collection' Guild Art Gallery, Mumbai

1999 'Creative Process', Guild Art Gallery, Mumbai

1998 'Drawings', Guild Art Gallery, Mumbai

1997 Guild Art Gallery, Mumbai

1997 ’50 Years of Indian Art’, Mohile Parikh Centre for Visual Arts (MPCVA), Mumbai

1996 ‘Modern & Contemporary Paintings: One Hundred Years’, London

1995 Indian Contemporary Paintings, London

1994 ‘Mirror-Image Series’, Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

 1993 Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai

1993 Reflections & Images, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai

1992 Sanskrit Art Gallery, Kolkata

1992 Group Show with Laxman Shreshtha&Jogen Chowdhury, Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

1991 ‘National Exhibition of Contemporary Art’, National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), New Delhi

1991 ‘State of the Art’ First Computer Art Show in Mumbai, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai

1990 Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai

 1989 ‘Timeless Art’, Mumbai

1988 Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai

 1987 Festival of India in U.S.S.R, Moscow

1985 Indian Artists in France

1985 ‘Artistes Indiensen France’ Foundation Nationale des Arts Graphiques et Plastiques,Paris

1984 Contemporary Indian Painters, Raj Bhavan, Mumbai. Organized by Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai

1982 ‘Contemporary Indian Art’, Festival of India, Royal Academy of Art, London

1981 ‘India: Myth & Reality – Aspects of Modern Indian Art’ Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), Oxford

1981 Indian Painting Today, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai

 1979 ‘Focus’, Gallery Chemould, Mumbai

 1963 Gallery '63, New York

1958 ‘Seven Indian Painters’, Gallery One, London

  1953 Galerie Raymond Creuse, Paris



2013 'The Naked and the Nude: The Body in Indian Modern Art', Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi

2012 'Modernist Art from India: Approaching Abstraction', Rubin Museum of Art, New York

2011-12 'Modernist Art from India: The Body Unbound', Rubin Museum of Art, New York

  2012 'Small is Beautiful', Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai

2012 'Art for Humanity', Coomaraswamy Hall, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj VastuSangrahalaya, Mumbai

2012 'Synergy 2012', 12th Anniversary Show, Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai

2012 'Crossings: Time Unfolded, Part 2', Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA), New Delhi

2011 'Ethos V: Indian Art Through the Lens of History (1900 to 1980), Indigo Blue Art, Singapore

 2011 'Time Unfolded', Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA), New Delhi

2010 'Art Celebrates 2010', represented by Gallery Threshold at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi to coincide with the hosting of the Commonwealth Games

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 'Manifestations IV', Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2009 'Miniature Format Show 2009 - IInd Part', Sans Tache Gallery, Mumbai

2008-09 ‘Expanding Horizons: Contemporary Indian Art’, Traveling Exhibition presented by Bodhi Art at Ravinder Natya Mandir, P.L.Despande Kala Academy Art Gallery, Mumbai; Sant DyaneshwarNatyaSankul Art Gallery, Amravati; Platinum Jubilee Hall, Nagpur; TapadiaNatya Mandir Sports Hall, Aurangabad; HirachandNemchandVachanalay’s, Solapur; Acharya VidyanandSanskrutik Bhavan, Kolhapur; PGSR Sabhagriha, SNDT, Pune; SarvajanikVachanalaya Hall, Nasik

 2008 'Harvest 2008', organized by Arushi Arts at The Stainless Gallery, New Delhi

 2008 ‘The Miniature Format Show – Part I’, Sans Tache, Mumbai

 1968 Indian Triennale, New Delhi

 1963 Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy

1963 3rd Paris Biennale, Paris

  1961 2nd Paris Biennale, Paris

  1959 Tokyo Biennale, Japan

  1959 Sao Paulo Biennale, Brazil

 1955 Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy



Honours and Awards

  2010 Padama Bhushan from Government of India

  2010 Kailash Lalit Kala Award, New Delhi

  2008 Roopdhar, Bombay Art Society, Mumbai

  2007 Dayawati Modi Award

  2004 Lalit Kala Ratna, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi

  1997-98 Kalidas Samman by the Madhya Pradesh Government

  1969 Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship

  1967 Artist in Residence, Stout State University, Wisconsin

  1965 J.D. Rockefeller IIIrd Fund, Fellowship

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