(1934 - 2003)
Born in 1934, Bhupen Khakhar’s career as an artist began quite late, when he was in his thirties. As a chartered accountant who went to study art criticism, he moved on to depicting the “everyday” on canvas. A solo exhibition in the 1970’s propelled him to fame abroad, following which he gained a footing in India as an artist to be reckoned with. Khakhar’s engagement with homosexuality and the dreary existence of the lives of many in India found a powerful outlet in his art. The artist has had numerous solo and group exhibitions, including ‘A Retrospective’ organized by the Fine Art Resource at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Mumbai in 2003; and exhibitions at Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi in 2002; Optica Gallery, Montreal, and Charles H.Scott Gallery, Vancouver, in 2001-2002. Some of his works were recently exhibited around the world: ‘Long Gone and & Living Now’ at Gallerie Mirchandani + Steinreucke, Mumbai; ‘Progressive to Altermodern: 62 Years of Indian Modern Art’ at Grosvenor Gallery, London; ‘Kalpana: Figurative Art in India’ presented by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) at Aicon Gallery, London; and ‘Shifting Shapes, Unstable Signs’ at Yale School of Art in New Haven, all in 2009. Chemould Art Gallery paid a homage to the artist through an exhibition titled “Aesthetic Bind, Subject of Death” that included his works.The artist was awarded Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1984. Bhupen Khakhar passed away in 2003.