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Lot Details

Signed and dated 'Padamsee 2001' (upper left)

1 x 1 Art Gallery, Dubai
Private collection, Dubai

"Padamsee's figures and heads attest to a subtle articulation of public concerns. Here we find the heads of saints and martyrs, their features crystallising slowly, as though emerging from water or forming on a wet shroud. Padamsee's protagonists are often composite figures, suggestive now of a medieval monk, now of Tarkovsky's Stalker or a survivor from a prison camp. Their eyes do no rest on us; nor are they fixed on any external object. They do not communicate suffering in the raw, so much as suffering overcome by fortitude. They resemble Padamsee's 'Prophets' of the 1950's, but unlike those radiant apostles, confident envoys of eternity, these are pilgrims of survival who bear testimony to the splendour of knowledge, but have also wrestled with the daemons of the flesh, been broken by pogrom and holocaust" (Ranjit Hoskote, "The Ricochet of the Line", Akbar Padamsee: Drawings, Watercolours, Photographs, Pundole Art Gallery exhibition catalogue, 2004, p.4).

Akbar Padamsee

(1928 - 2020)
Born in Mumbai, Padamsee received a Diploma in Fine Arts from the Sir J. J. School of Art in 1951 and moved to Paris the same year. In 1965 he received the J.D. Rockefeller III Fund Fellowship and worked as artist-in-residence at Stout State University, Wisconsin. His most recent solo shows include those held at the Priyasri Art Gallery, Mumbai, 2013; the Loft, Mumbai, in 2010; Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai in 2010, 03, 02, 1999, 97, 96, 94, 93, 86, 75, 74 and 72; Galerie Helene Lamarque, Paris, in 2008; Aicon Gallery, New York, and Palo Alto, in 2006-07; and the Guild Art Gallery, Mumbai, 2006. Retrospective exhibitions of his works were organized by Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai, in 2004 and Art Heritage, New Delhi, and Mumbai, in 1980. His group shows include those held at Sovereign FZE, Dubai, in 2013; Art Alive Gallery, New Delhi; Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, in 2012; Grosvenor Gallery, London; Aicon Gallery, New York, and London, in 2010-11; The Museum of Fine Art, Boston, in 2009; Grosvenor Gallery, London, in 2009; Nehru Center, London, in 2005; and Saffronart and Pundole Art Gallery New York, in 2001 and 2002. In 1969-70, Padamsee was awarded the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship and made four short films. In 2004 he was awarded the Lalit Kala Ratna by the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, and in 1997-98, he received the Kalidas Samman from the Madhya Pradesh State Government. Padamsee passed away on the 6th of January 2020 at the age of 91, in Tamil Nadu.