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Lot Details

Signed 'Souza' (upper right)

Saffronart and Apparao Galleries / Lot 34 / Souza & Baiju Exhibition / Los Angeles / 2001
Private collection, Mumbai

Francis Newton Souza is an image-maker whose subjects ranged form representation of still life, landscapes, nudes and icons of Christianity. The influence of Goan folk arts, the Spanish Romanesque, and the landscapes of 19th century Europe are visible in most of his work.

Even with the recurring themes, his works that represent mother and son shows both intimate attachment and artistic significance, reflecting on Souza's very close life-long relationship with his mother. Despite the subject, the current picture is removed from any form of sublimity yet infused with approachable humanity.

True to his energetic style of painting, his figures were deliberately distorted, revealing an uninhibited, realistic style.

Francis Newton Souza

(1924 - 2002)
Born in 1924 in Saligao, Goa, Souza was expelled from the Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai, in 1942 for taking part in the ‘Quit India’ freedom movement. He went on to found the Progressive Artist’s Group in 1948, before leaving for London a year later. In 1955 Souza held a one-man show at Gallery One in London and also had his autobiographical essay ‘Nirvana of a Maggot’ published. He was awarded the John Moore Prize at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool in 1957 and received an Italian Government Scholarship in 1960. In 1959 a collection of his autobiographical essays, ‘Words and Lines’, was published, and in 1962 a monograph on his work by Edwin Mullins was published as well. In 1967 Souza migrated to New York where he received the Guggenheim International Award. Two retrospectives of his work were organized by Art Heritage, New Delhi, in 1986 and 1996. Souza also participated in a work-live programme in Los Angeles, hosted by Saffronart in 2001. Souza passed away in Mumbai 2002. Some important posthumous exhibition of his work include, ‘F.N. Souza’ at Saffronart and Grosvenor Gallery, New York, in 2008; ‘F.N. Souza: Religion & Erotica’ at Tate Britain, London, in 2005-06; ‘Self-Portrait: Renaissance to Contemporary’ at the National Portrait Gallery, London, in 2005; and ‘Francis Newton Souza’ at Saffronart and Grosvenor Gallery, New York and London, in 2005.