Mehlli Gobhai

Mehlli Gobhai was one of the foremost abstractionist artists in India. After graduating from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, he studied at the Royal College of Art, London and then Pratt Graphic Centre and the Art Students League, New York. He lived and worked in New York for over 20 years, returning to Mumbai in the late 1980’s.

For Gobhai, the act of painting in series goes beyond repitition, and assumes the aspect of renewal. Gobhai’s paintings record the dialogue between the spare line and burnished field. Surface and structure are important in his works. The surface is always a base for the creation of a tactile sensuousness his paintings feel and look like either an aged scrap of leather, an old parchment, a metal sheet or the rind of a fruit. Structure on the other hand, is cut down, or refined to the point of virtual non-existence. Straight and stark lines cut across the painting, depicting the most essential, and according to Gobhai, the only necessary part of the human body – its axis. They define and organize his paintings for him.

He has held many solo and group shows in India and abroad. Some of his solo exhibitions include those held at Gallery Chemould, Mumbai, Bombay Art Gallery, Mumbai, Gallery 7, Mumbai and New India House, New York. In 2018, the artist passed away in Mumbai.