Akbar Padamsee


Born in Mumbai in 1928, Akbar Padamsee graduated from the Sir J J School of Arts in 1951, with a Diploma in Painting, following which he went to live and work in France. In 1952, he was awarded a prize by Andre Breton on behalf of the Journale d’Art. Padamsee’s first solo exhibition was held in Paris in the same year at Galerie Saint Placide.

Padamsee’s pioneering spirit has allowed him to experiment with a wide range of media, from oil on canvas to photography and digital printmaking. Whatever his chosen medium, the artist conveys a command over space, form and colour. Best known for his Grey Series, Metascapes and Mirror Images, Padamsee has experimented with film-making, sculpture, and has also written as an art critic. Padamsee has exhibited his works in several solo exhibitions, including Past Forward, Priyasri Art Gallery, Mumbai in 2013; Sensitive Surfaces at Galerie Helene Lamarque, Paris, in 2008; Metascape to Humanscape at Aicon Gallery, New York and Palo Alto, in 2007; and Photographs (2004-06) at the Guild Art Gallery, Mumbai, in 2006. From 1994 onwards, Padamsee has held several solo shows at Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai, including Tertiaries, Compugraphics, Imaging Gandhi, Female Nudes, and Mirror Images.

His group exhibitions include The Body Unbound at the Rubin Museum of Art, New York in 2011-12; Progressive to Altermodern: 62 Years of Indian Modern Art at Grosvenor Gallery, London, in 2009; Faces at Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai; Freedom 2008 – Sixty Years of Indian Independence at the Centre for International Modern Art (CIMA), Kolkata in 2008; Retrospective of Watercolors at Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai, in 2004; and a retrospective of his works organised by Art Heritage, New Delhi, in Mumbai in 1980. Padamsee was awarded the Lalit Kala Ratna by the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, in 2004, and the Kalidas Samman by the Madhya Pradesh Govt. in 1997.

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.

The artist lives and works in Mumbai.

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