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Bombay Progressive Artists' Group

The same year India got its independence in 1947, the Bombay Progressive Artists' Group was formed that came as a symbolic orchestration as well as a conscious artistic departure from Western paradigms of art and the pre-independence domination of colonial academic realism, and later the nationalist sentimentality of the Bengal School. The most renowned members of the group included the prolific MF Hussain, FN Souza, SH Raza and the lesser known S Bakre and KH Ara. Others associated with this group, who came in and left at different stages included Akbar Padamsee, Ram Kumar, VS Gaitonde, Krishen Khanna and Tyeb Mehta. Though this group lasted only till 1956, the legacy of a new modernism it initiated and continued under individual artists till the contemporary is one that is fused with richness in style and subject. Even though the artists took inspiration from Western art practices, they created a novel vocabulary by assimilating those with Indian themes and techniques. They attempted an awakening for an Indian avant-garde art, one that is cosmopolitan and employs a global syncretism.

Further Reading

Mumbai Modern: Progressive Artists' Group 1947-2013, Delhi Art Gallery

Progressive Artist's Group, Bombay, 1949

F.N. Souza, K.H. Ara, H.A. Gade,
M.F. Husain, S.K. Bakre, S.H. Raza