Margao, b.1926

Laxman Pai

Born in Margao, Goa, Pai studied and later taught at the Sir J. J. School of Art, Bombay, and for a period of ten years was the principal of Goa College of Art. He participated in the Goa liberation movement, and was imprisoned for his involvement in Gandhi’s satyagraha movement. Yet, most of Laxman Pai’s art is characterized by vigorous graphic impressions of simple themes as his visual response to celebrating life’s experiences. Free from any commentary or moralistic narrative, they communicate a highly refined individualistic sensibility. A contemporary and compatriot of F. N. Souza, Pai grew up in the lush environs of Goa and the beauty of its landscape forms a recurrent source of inspiration in his work.

Years spent in Paris helped him in forming an individual artistic...

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Biography

Born in Margao, Goa, Pai studied and later taught at the Sir J. J. School of Art, Bombay, and for a period of ten years was the principal of Goa College of Art. He participated in the Goa liberation movement, and was imprisoned for his involvement in Gandhi’s satyagraha movement. Yet, most of Laxman Pai’s art is characterized by vigorous graphic impressions of simple themes as his visual response to celebrating life’s experiences. Free from any commentary or moralistic narrative, they communicate a highly refined individualistic sensibility. A contemporary and compatriot of F. N. Souza, Pai grew up in the lush environs of Goa and the beauty of its landscape forms a recurrent source of inspiration in his work.

Years spent in Paris helped him in forming an individual artistic language that incorporated elements like angular simplification, flatness of the pictorial surface, the use of an expressive, rhythmic line and its lyrical qualities. With influences that span the works of artists Paul Klee, Mark Chagall and Joan Miro, Laxman Pai’s works illustrate an eclectic intermingling of the traditional and the modern. Bright exuberant colours, the structural use of line, and diagrammatic figuration are key aspects of his style.

His works demonstrate his exploration of the stylistics of Indian folk art. Apart from his visual references, Pai’s experimentation with partial abstraction was also enabled through his forays into Indian classical music. His innovative paintings have brought the spirit of the native into the realm of modern art. Part of international collections, Pai has twice won the Lalit Kala Akademi’s National Award, has received the Padma Shri and the Goa government’s award.

Artworks

4

Untitled, 1958

RELATED CATEGORIES

Abstract and Figurative / Abstract Expression / Europe / Flatness / India / Indian Art / Ink / Liberation Movement / Lyrical Expression / Paris / Rhythmic Line / Rhythmical Expression / Watercolor / Work on Paper

CURRICULUM VITAE

Education

  • 1951

    Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris

  • 1947

    Diploma in Painting, Sir J.J.School of Art, Mumbai

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2006

    Pai in Paris – Early Works, Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi

  • 2005

    My Family Tree and Flowering Tree, Dhoomimal Art Gallery, New Delhi

  • 2001

    Rabindra Bhavan, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi

Group Exhibitions

  • 2018

    India’s French Connection: Indian Artists in France, DAG, New York (~ 2019)

  • 2013

    The Naked and the Nude: The Body in Indian Modern Art, Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi

  • 2011

    Manifestations VI, Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi

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Curriculum Vitae

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Education

  • 1951

    Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris

  • 1947

    Diploma in Painting, Sir J.J.School of Art, Mumbai

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2006

    Pai in Paris – Early Works, Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi

  • 2005

    My Family Tree and Flowering Tree, Dhoomimal Art Gallery, New Delhi

  • 2001

    Rabindra Bhavan, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi

  • Srinagar Faces – 2000, Dhoomimal Art Gallery, New Delhi

  • Tree of Life and Spring Flowers, Fresco Gallery, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi

  • 2000

    Recent Paintings by Laxman Pai, Dhoomimal Art Gallery, New Delhi

Group Exhibitions

  • 2018

    India’s French Connection: Indian Artists in France, DAG, New York (~ 2019)

  • 2013

    The Naked and the Nude: The Body in Indian Modern Art, Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi

  • 2011

    Manifestations VI, Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi

  • Ethos V: Indian Art Through the Lens of History (1900 to 1980), Indigo Blue Art, Singapore

  • 2010

    Manifestations IV, Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi

  • 2005

    Manifestations III, Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi

  • 2004

    Manifestations II, Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi

  • 2003

    Manifestations I, Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi

Grants & Awards

  • 1995

    Nehru Award, Goa

  • 1987

    Honored by Government of Goa

  • 1985

    Awarded Padma Shri, Government of India

  • 1972

    National Award, Kangra Portraits Show, New Delhi

  • 1963

    National Award, Lalit Kala Akademi

  • 1961

    National Award, Lalit Kala Akademi

  • 1947

    Received Mayo Medal

Collections

  • Ben & Abbey Grey Foundation, USA

  • New York Library, USA

  • New York Public Library, USA

  • Berlin Museum, Germany

  • Museum of Modern Art, Paris

  • Nagpur Museum. Nagpur

  • Punjab University Museum, Chandigarh

  • Chandigarh Museum, Chandigarh

  • Madras Museum. Chennai

  • The National Art Gallery, Chennai