Artist Profile
Profile of Akbar Padamsee

Akbar Padamsee was born in April 12, 1928, in Mumbai. He earned the title “Padmashree” or “Padamsee” after he distributed his entire granary to the village during a famine. His original family name was “Charanyas”, due to their ancestors being court poets. Early in life he started copying images from The Illustrated Weekly of India magazine in his father’s accounts books at their store on Chakla Street, in South Bombay. He studied at St. Xavier’s high School, Fort, and it was here that met his first mentor, his teacher Shirsat, a waterolorist. He first learned the medium, followed by classes on nudes at Charni Road in Bombay as a preparation for his studies at the Sir J.J. School of Art As a result he was allowed to join the course directly in its third year. He was still studying fine art at the school, when the Progressive Artists Group(PAG) was formed in 1947 by F.N. Souza, S.H. Raza, and M.F. Hussain The group was to have a lasting impact on Indian art. By the time he received his diploma he was already associated with the group. After Pamdamsee left for Paris in the year 1952 artist Krishna Reddy introduced him to the surrealist Stanley Hayter who became his mentor, he soon joined Hayter’s studio “Atelier 17”. His first exhibition was held in Paris in 1952. His very first solo show was held at the Jehangir Art Gallery 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. Since the seventies, his work is seen to alternate between two major genres, luminous metascapes - his signature works, and the human figure which he continues to imbue with an arresting presence. He has participated in exhibitions and Biennales – Venice, 1953 and 1955; Sao Paulo and Tokyo in 1959; Museum of Modern Art, Oxford 1981; Royal Academy of Arts, London 1982 and National des Arts Plastiques, Paris, 1985. In the year 1980, a retrospective of his work was organized by the Art Heritage Gallery, in Mumbai and New Delhi. Akbar Padamsee was awarded the prestigious Kalidas Samman by the Government of Madhya Pradesh in 1997. Other awards include the Lalit Kala Ratna Puraskar in 2004, the Dayawati Modi Award in 2007,''Roopdhar" award by Bombay Art Society - 2008 and Kailash Lalit Kala award in the year 2010.In 2010, he was awarded the Padama Bhushan by the government of india. Padamsee lives and works in Mumbai.

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Past Exhibitions (11)
Akbar  Padamsee

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