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Virtual Galleries - Abstraction in Contemporary Indian Art
In India, abstract art was not so much a culmination of a logical process in the development of the vocabulary of art, but more a search for purity of line, colour and form by artists in the 50s and the 60s.

The late Vasudeo S Gaitonde’s introspective nature found the engagement with colour and texture- uncluttered by content or narrative – a satisfactory way to deal with his canvas surface. A Zen like contemplative approach informs his canvases. The two other artists who approached the pictorial space as if it were a philosophical engagement are Jeram Patel and late Nasreen Mohamedi. Whereas Patel’s statement is boldly assertive with a richness of tone, Nasreen Mohamedi’s drawings reveal an austere aesthetics that permits no excess.

There are many artists who, from landscapes, moved towards abstractions. Ganesh Haloi of Calcutta readily comes to mind. Many of the artists close to the Progressive Artists Groups and Syed Haider Raza, a founder member of the PAG, experimented with abstraction from the 70s onwards. Their new orientation was not devoid of philosophical questions relating to the nature of the image.

Works of Krishen Khanna, Jehangir Sabavala, Ram Kumar, Akbar Padamsee, Jagdish Swaminathan, Eric Bowen, Mona Rai, Biren De, GR Santosh, OP Sharma, Soha Qadri, SG Vasudev, Prabhakar Kolt’s and V Viswanadhan which find prominent place in the NGMA, are exemplary.

The collection of abstract art at the NGMA showcases the diverse use of material, colours, forms and textures. Moreover, it ranges from ascetic simplicity to a rich sensuousness in mood and imagination.

Jeram Patel

Contours, Blow torch on wood, 122X91 cm

Eric Bowen

O.G.+3 S.Q., Acrylic on board, 60X60.3 cm

V S Gaitonde

Painting, Oil on canvas, 101.3X178 cm

Ram Kumar

Oil on canvas, 84X152.5 cm

Krishen Khanna

Ink on paper, 51.5X38 cm

Nasreen Mohamedi

Drawing IV, Ink on paper, 51X51.5 cm

Akbar Padamsee

Metascape III, Oil on canvas, 152X152.5 cm

Biren De

Genesis, Oil on canvas, 182.5X121.5 cm

S H Raza

Untitled, Oil on canvas, 50X99.1 cm

S G Vasudev

Tree of Life, Oil on canvas, 90X90 cm

P Sharma

Mandala in Black, Oil on canvas, 84X92 cm

G R Santosh

Untitled, 127X148 cm

Jehangir Sabavala

Trapped Lake, Oil on canvas, 150X100 cm


Acrylic on cavas, 101.3X178 cm

Mona Rai

Illustrated, Mixed Media Manuscript, 107X72 cm


Red Painting, Oil on canvas, 120X120 cm

Prabhakar Kolte

Untitled, Watercolour, 90X70 cm


A.A. Almelkar

Miniature Painting

Tanjore and Mysore

European Traveller Artists

Company Period

Kalighat Painting

Academic Realism

Bengal School

Amrita Sher-Gil

Jamini Roy

Gaganendranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore


Artists Collectives

Abstraction in Contemporary Indian Art

Art Movements of 1960s

Art Movements in 1970s


Modern Sculptures

Print Making