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Sudhir Patwardhan

Indian Contemporary Artist
Born 1949, Pune, Maharashtra, India
Lives and works in Mumbai

A practicing radiologist and a self-taught artist, Sudhir Patwardhan considers himself a painter of people. His art focuses on the complex panorama of an urban and natural environment. His charcoal sketches and large oil paintings are an instant notation of the everyday lives of the urban people on the streets. Through his art he examines the changes the society experiences that are universal in nature.



Graduated in Medicine from the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune

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UNDERSTANDING Sudhir Patwardhan

From streets of Mumbai to family drama

A transition was triggered in Patwardhan’s art when he became a grandfather in 2008. While people continued to be the protagonists in his paintings, the characters changed from laborers of Mumbai streets to his own family. This autobiographical work intends to make a statement about the universal experience of the family life.

The painting Family Fiction comprises domestic and fictional figures into a palimpsest of life. The expressions are deliberately vague. Without making any statements the artist explores the changing equation within the family. There are undercurrents of happiness, expectations and disappointments that bind the figures together. The situation is familiar and inevitable, the predicaments of which families manage with love and patience.

Sudhir Patwardhan, Family Fiction, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 72"

Interaction between man and nature in Patwardhan's works

Patwardhan is sharply concerned with how urbanization has brought about an expeditious change and how, one can no longer cherish the beauty of nature, as one could do in the past. The acrylic painting Nostalgia comprises of three different scenarios. A man sitting in a room on the left corner of the painting, a scene of his wife and mother standing in the gallery and from there on one sees an urban landscape which stretches up to the mountains. Patwardhan reveals that the thought of this painting when he came across a picture of his wife and mother.

Sudhir Patwardhan, Nostalgia, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 34 x 96"

Focus on the urban life

Sudhir Patwardhan’s oeuvre can be described as a prodigious overview of the urban and the natural environment. His work might well be considered a form of Social Realism as it depicts the mundane, unprivileged lives in the chaotic cityscapes and scenes from the bustling street with supreme sensitivity and intensity. Issues such as materiality, isolation and fragmentation are dealt with through his artwork. His sketches and drawings engage intimately with ordinary people.

Sudhir Patwardhan, Rabodi, 2003, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 92"

Figures crowd his drawings and canvases alike

Patwardhan 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. His charcoal drawings on paper are often the instant representation of the day to day episodes from working class people on city streets, while some being more or less sketchy studies done from photographs.

He does faces seen with a certain intimacy, he explains. Detail of an eye or a nose, or a tilt of head captures his interest. These brief sketches give him a feeling of satisfaction as they take on a sociological role or an autobiographical one.

Sudhir Patwardhan, Untitled, 1970, oil on canvas, 39.5 x 23.5"