Her canvas covered a broad spectrum of subjects from social issues like drought and hunger to the depiction of rural women in different settings and circumstances. And yet what binds these works together is a certain simplicity and poignancy that could make even a lay person looking at her paintings respond deeply to the emotions of the characters portrayed.
B Prabha, one of the most iconic of the Indian masters was born in Nagpur in Maharashtra in 1993. She studied at the Sir J.J. School of Art in Mumbai . Following different phrases of experimentation, Prabha developed an elegant, formal style that remains her trademark. However, her distinct style is said to have fully evolved after her marriage with fellow artist B. Vithal in 1956. Infact, she had her first exhibition in 1956 alongwith her husband.
Prabha was deeply influenced by Amrita Shergil, yet another iconic Indian artist who is often considered the pioneer of modern art in India. Even though the subjects of her paintings were close to those portrayed by Amrita Shergil, rural women that is, B. Prabha evolved her own characteristic style and sensibilities. Her paintings, even wthough the style was sophisticated and formal exuded the simplicity of the simple rural folks and settings they depicted. And it is this quest for simplicity that drew her to oils in the 1st place.
B. Prabha has held approximately 50 exhibitions in India and internationally. She died in September 2001.
Nagpur School of Art
1954-55 Government Diploma in Painting and Mural Painting, Sir J.J School of Art, Mumbai
Selected Posthumous Exhibitions
2012 'Art for Humanity', Coomaraswamy Hall, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj VastuSangrahalaya, Mumbai
2011-12 'Modernist Art from India: The Body Unbound', Rubin Museum of Art, New York
2011 'Ethos V: Indian Art Through the Lens of History (1900 to 1980), Indigo Blue Art, Singapore
2011 'B Prabha: From the Album', The Viewing Room, Mumbai
2011 'Celebrations 2011', Kumar Gallery, New Delhi
2008 ‘Winter Moderns’, Aicon Gallery, New York
2008 ‘Pot Pourri’, Gallery Beyond, Mumbai
Selected Solo Exhibitions
1993 ‘Shradhanjali’, dedicated to Late Husband B Vithal at Mumbai
1961 Kumar Gallery, New Delhi
1959 Kumar Gallery, New Delhi
Selected Group Exhibitions
1996 ‘Contemporary Indian Painters 1996’, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai
1957 Kumar Gallery, New Delhi
1956 With B Vithal at Mumbai
1958 Bombay State Art Exhibition, Mumbai
Honours and Awards
1958 First Prize at the Bombay State Art Exhibition
Received All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society (AIFACS) Award, New DelhiBack to Artists View Artworks of B. Prabha