Akbar Padamsee

INDIAN MODERN ARTIST

- Born on 12 April 1928 Bombay, Maharashtra, India 
- Died on 6 January 2020 (aged 91) Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India 
- Lived and worked in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India 

 

 

UNDERSTANDING THE ARTIST

Although never formally a part of the Bombay Progressives, Akbar Padamsee was influential in shaping the group’s ideology and carrying it to the pinnacles of excellence. It was at J.J. School of Art that he met Raza, Tyeb Mehta, Gaitonde and Souza, the members of the Progressive Artists Group. The Progressives played a prime role in forging "modernism" in post-independence Indian art and sought to break away from the revivalist nationalism advanced by the Bengal School of Art and expanding their circuit of reference to international artist and art movements. In Padamsee’s work, modernity can be traced to the sense of disengagement and alienation that the human figures seem to underscore with an emphasis on structure rooted in a certain Internationalism. 
His oeuvre spans over six decades focussing primarily on nudes, heads and landscapes all while using a variety of mediums like oil paintings, watercolours, sculpture, photography and printmaking, Padamsee’s work explores genres like nudes, heads and metascapes, mirroring much of post- independence India’s struggle with body, figure and abstraction. For the artist, formalist and conceptual concerns often override his concern for the subject. His nudes are often given a treatment similar to a landscape while his heads rarely make an attempt at portraiture. 
Although known as a painter, Padamsee has experimented with a variety of mediums like filmmaking, photography, computer graphics and printmaking. Initially using nude photography to assist in his drawing, it was at a much later stage that he discovered photography as a tool of study in the properties of light and of form. 
The structure of the painting and thought is central for his image making and is evident in his compositions while the brushstrokes similar to Chinese writings is discernible in his watercolour nudes. 

 

SELECTED IMAGES

 
Akbar Padamsee, Double head, 1991, computer work on paper, 92.7X124.4 cm
Akbar Padamsee, Double head, 1991, computer work on paper, 92.7X124.4 cm

Akbar Padamsee, Cityscape, 1959, oil and plastic emulsion on board, 44 1.4 x 137”

Akbar Padamsee, Cityscape, 1959, oil and plastic emulsion on board, 44 1.4 x 137 in
 
Akbar Padamsee, Woman with flower, 1950, 45X30 cm
Akbar Padamsee, Woman with flower, 1950, 45X30 cm
 
Akbar Padamsee, Untitled, 2006, watercolour on paper, 23.22 x 30 in
Akbar Padamsee, Untitled, 2006, watercolour on paper, 23.22 x 30 in

 

Akbar Padamsee, Untitled, 1996, oil on canvas, 42 x 62 in
Akbar Padamsee, Untitled, 1996, oil on canvas, 42 x 62 in
 
 
Akbar Padamsee, Untitled (Cityscape), 1962, oil on canvas, 16 ¼  x 10 ½ in
Akbar Padamsee, Untitled (Cityscape), 1962, oil on canvas, 16 ¼ x 10 ½ in
 
Akbar Padamsee, Table, 1993, wood,120X75X61.25 cm
Akbar Padamsee, Table, 1993, wood, 120 X 75 X 61.25 cm

 

Akbar Padamsee, Paysage Urbain, 1961, oil on board, 39 x 40.5 in
Akbar Padamsee, Paysage Urbain, 1961, oil on board, 39 x 40.5 in
 
Akbar Padamsee, Nature Morte a la Carafee, 1956, oil on panel, 15 ½ x 10 ½ in
Akbar Padamsee, Nature Morte a la Carafee, 1956, oil on panel, 15 ½ x 10 ½ in

 

Akbar Padamsee, Man in city, 1953, 73X100.5 cm
Akbar Padamsee, Man in city, 1953, 73X100.5 cm

 


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