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Artist Profile
Francis Newton Souza – “Society must adapt to the artist”
He was born in the village of Saligao, Goa to Roman Catholic parents. After his expulsion from St. Xavier’s college in Bombay, he studied arts at the Sir J.J. School of Arts but was suspended in 1945 for his support of the Quit India Movement. In 1947 he founded the progressive artists’ group along with S.H. Raza, M.F Husain and K.H. Ara, among others. His sharp stylistically provocative canvas gifted him his international success. In the year 1949 Souza left for London but only in the 1950’s did his work start earning some recognition at Gallery One in North London. He dabbled into literature which resulted in the publishing of his “Nirvana of the Maggot”.
In 1967 he migrated to New York where he received the Guggenheim international award. He passed away in the year 2002 in his hometown Bombay. During his vast oeuvre his paintings consisted of subjects that covered the diverse nature of humanity – it covers still life, landscape, nudes and icons of Christianity, rendered boldly in a frenzied distortion of form. Souza's paintings express defiance and impatience with convention and with the banality of everyday life. His paintings have a touch of everything from the full-blooded renaissance paintings to the influence of his native place Goa, the influences of the various schools of art to the landscapes of the 18th and 19th century Europe and the trailblazing modernistic paintings.

Sandip Pal
Copywriter, ICIA