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Stunning Abstracts by Seven Indian Modern Painters

Mohan Samant, The Temple,1975–80, Cut and folded papers, marker, paint, and sand on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum, New York.

20th century

Stunning Abstracts by Seven Indian Modern Painters

It was the early 20th century when Modernism spread its wings in India owing to the introduction-exposure through various European artists. The exchange had already inspired the artists to experiment and delve deeper into their conscience in order to express in far more realistic ways.

Abstraction ruled the minds not as an ideology or a principle but as the intention to know the unknown truth, and to experience the unmanifested. Several painters made unassuming leaps from their influences to the very own methodology of expression. This led many of the modernist painters to create some of the most stunning abstracts to perceive.

Art to me is a happening and performance, an instant plunging, flirting and merging, with life, with it’s being and becoming it. All that is there on the canvas is but a charge in celebration.

Ambadas Khobragade

Ambadas Khobraghade

Ambadas Khobragade, Untitled, 1976. Source: Art Basel.

An artist-activist, Ambadas Khobragade, had an unconventional set of imageries oozing out from his brushstrokes. They appear like wavelets of his sensations — spontaneous and ephemeral. Long before, during his childhood, he had been enriched with Gandhian values than he had his personal modus operandi later, to face the political realities in India. He was a part of the revolutionary and essential group called Group 1890.

Mohan Samant

Mohan Samant, The Temple,1975–80, Cut and folded papers, marker, paint, and sand on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum, New York.

A perfect blend of figurines and abstraction, Mohan Samant expressed in a very peculiar as well as a personal style. He utilized divergent materials, high impasto delivering a low relief to the base and a set of mundane visuals. These mundane figures were consciously let free by him to choose the path of lines and shades while being rendered on the canvas. This resulted in an enigmatic outcome.

Tyeb Mehta

stunning abstracts
Tyeb Mehta

The paintings stand out from the rest in reference to the repertoire of the stylised figurines repetitively handled in each artwork. In his works, it is a slight distortion hitherto keeping the meaningful form in the place. Tyeb Mehta was a simple personality.

Vasudeo Gaitonde

Indian Modern Painters
Vasudeo Gaitonde, Untitled, Ink on paper circa 1960s.

Vasudeo Gaitonde termed himself as a “non-objective” painter wherein stating the fact that his paintings do not bear any particular pre-thought contexts. While expressing an abstract form he also created paintings that showcases calligraphic fonts in resemblance with hieroglyphics symbols of Harappa civilisation.

Jeram Patel

stunning abstracts
Jeram Patel, Untitled, Acrylic, Blow torch on wood and stainless steel, 2008.

The distinguished works of Jeram Patel are the epitome of his quirky style. At the same time, they are vehement signatures of a spontaneous temperament. The artworks are revolutionizing features in the modern Indian Art timeline of Abstraction.

SH Raza

Indian Modern Painters
SH Raza, Saison, 1966.

SH Raza had a very bright lifespan while he went out of his shell to pursue his career in Paris at a very young age. His initial conventional abstracts paved a way to a personal and minimalistic rendering of geometric forms. Bindu, a circular form staged a prominent appearance in his later, advanced and stunning abstracts.

Ram Kumar

Indian Modern Painters
Ram Kumar, Untitled, Acrylic on canvas, 2010. Courtesy Saffronart.

A simple-minded man with a noble soul expressed his inherent ferocity through his beguiling abstraction that managed to appeal multitudes. Ram Kumar’s palette did not have a dearth of tonalities rather they brightened with time and deepened with age. The coloured stretches float to take a rugged road of yet another shade.

If you like works of Indian modern painters, check a guide of Ravinder Reddy’s sculpture!


Urvi Chheda begins to write without the will but ends up writing her mind. She is involved with multiple Art research projects while aiming to indulge in as many as she could undertake. Hardworking and intuitive by nature, she excels in reading and getting through the concepts’ abyss. She has graduated from the Sir JJ School of Art, Mumbai, India.

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