Sudhir Patwardhan





Sudhir Patwardhan considers himself a painter of people. Born in Pune, Maharashtra in 1949, he graduated in Medicine from the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune in 1972. Patwardhan, a practicing radiologist, runs a clinic in a modest part of Thane in Mumbai.

Sudhir Patwardhan's works centres around one poetically monumental panorama of an urban and natural environment. Pathwardhan has continued to evolve his figurative style in expressionist drawings on one hand and large complex oil paintings of town and cityscapes on the other. Elaborating on the thought process that goes into his work, he notes: "I do faces seen with a certain intimacy. Each of these, finished within an hour, gives me a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. From the innumerable persons encountered, a detail of an eye or a nose, or a tilt of the head has struck a cord. The note is then rapidly and vigorously expanded. During this process the emerging face has to fight against my impulse to engulf and dissolve it. The stereotype head and the remembered look of distrust are allies of otherness. With their help the face will attain certain autonomy. But it will not shake off my attachment.

"The feeling of being an intruder now catches up with me, and pulls me away from the image. I am probably fated to oscillate thus between proximity and distance. There are periods when I am neither here nor there. It is in this in-between space that figures closest to my heart take shape. Figures neither near nor far, like the distance between me and the stranger in the street or in the cafe. In such figures, close enough to be sensuously full-bodied and disquieting, but distanced through the act of observation and depiction, are compounded the pleasures and problems of both extremes. The character and social background of these figures are established and they take on a sociological role but it could as well be an autobiographical one."

His vast acrylic canvases may seem like a faithful depiction of the specific area, an ordinary and quite typical part of Mumbai with its uncomfortable symbiosis of decent residential buildings and poor ones, of industry and nature. These, however, exude a strangely bewitching atmosphere -both serene and disturbing, roughly literal and poetic in a delicate manner, which attain grandeur. Patwardhan conjures an aura of things beyond the concrete and the singular. Throughout he employs contradictory motifs and suggestions in order to make them transgress and unite in an evocation of the contemporary life cycle.

His major group exhibitions include Mumbai Art Society, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai (1974, 1975), Mumbai Art Society, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, 'Place for People' Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai and Ravindra Bhavan, Delhi (1981), 'Aspects of Modern India Art', Oxford, UK, 'Contemporary Indian Art', Festival of India, London, UK, -'Seven Indian Artists', Worpswede, Hanover, Hamburg, Bayreuth, Braunsweig, Germany (all 1982), Ten Artists, Gallery 7, Mumbai (1984), 'Contemporary Indian Art', Festival of India, New York, USA (1985), 'Coupe de Coeur' Geneva, Switzerland (1987), 'Gadyaparva Exhibition' Gallery Chemould, Mumbai (1990), 'Parallel Perceptions', Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai (1993), 'Contemporary Indian Painting from the Herwitz Family Collection Part I, auction by Sotheby's, New York, USA (1995, 96), 'Contemporary Indian Painters 96' Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai 1996), 'Charcoal & Conte' Birla Century Art Gallery, Mumbai (1997), Icons of the Millennium ( Lakeeren Art Gallery ) , Mumbai, 'Extreme Gourmet' Indigo, Lakeeren, Mumbai and Century City, Tate Modern, London, UK (2001)

His paintings are in many public and private collections including The National of Modern Art, New Delhi; Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi; Punjab University Museum, Chandigarh; Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal; Gallery of Contemporary Art, Kochi; Peabody Essex Museum, Mass. USA. and the Herwitz Family Collection, USA.



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