Friday, June 21, 2013

Life and art of a celebrated artist of her era

One of the most critically acclaimed and prolific artists of her generation, B.Prabha worked mainly in oil, her each canvas usually executed in a single dominant color. Her early works were modern, freely rendered paintings. Gradually, she started experimenting and soon developed what was to be recognized as her signature style. Her subject matter encompassed a wide array of concerns that she harbored, while observing the life and people around.

In the graceful forms of her female figures, the artist intensely examined their inner world, sufferings and courage. Her work was not merely a portrayal of the female forms; it brought their suppressed sentiments to the fore. It was not just coincidental that her inspiration as an artist was Amrita Shergil.

‘B. Prabha - From the Album’, a selection of works by the late artist, was on display at The Viewing Room, Mumbai, earlier this year. Charting out her career, an accompanying note mentioned: "On her canvases, she immortalized the fisherwomen of Mumbai.B. Prabha’s graceful elongated figures of pensive rural women, with each canvas in a single dominant color still continue to mesmerize art lovers.

Other selected posthumous exhibits in acknowledgement of her greatness as an artist are 'Celebrations 2011', Kumar Gallery, New Delhi (2011); ‘Winter Moderns’, Aicon Gallery, New York (2008); ‘Pot Pourri’, Gallery Beyond, Mumbai (2008). She won many noteworthy honors and awards, such as the All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society (AIFACS) Award, New Delhi and First Prize at the Bombay State Art Exhibition (1958), among others. Her work is with several major collections.

About her motivation and concerns as an artist, she once had stated: “The core theme of my paintings was always women and their sufferings. I have seen them and observed them closely. I did not just thought of the urban woman but also those in rural areas, who were as creative. They exude so many emotions to portray...”

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