Yogesh Rawal was born in 1954 in Wankaner, Saurashtra. He graduated from the Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai, in 1978. He learned printmaking with Prof Kashinath Salve after school hours, and in 1979, he received a scholarship from the French Government to study lithography at the renowned L’Ecole National Superieure des Beaux-arts, Paris under Prof. Haddad. He also learnt Etching at Atelier 17 under Prof. William Hayter before returning to Mumbai.
Rawal’s mediums span collages, sculptures, prints and paintings. His untitled abstractions are brought to life by his clever use of paper collage, cellulose and synthetic resin. He animates his ‘indeterminate realms’ by referring to them as inner conversations. His art suggests the immaterial world of the mind. While minimalist in intention, his concerns are less cerebral and rigid. He has been compared to artists like Agnes Martin who infuse their simple forms with attitudes stemming from certain Zen Buddhist philosophy. Unlike Martin however, Rawal is not reacting to the sudden popularity of the East (in the West) that first occurred in the 1950s. Instead, he is unveiling underlying ideals that have permeated the East since time immemorial – but have become lost in the layers of history. His Zen inner self is grounded in its local roots.
Rawal often works in black and white but he does not hesitate to use deep reds, browns and oranges. It seems he has a rather intuitive relationship with colour. His deep understanding of light and shade often leaves his viewers amazed at his ability to manipulate his multi-layered works. Many of the artist’s etchings have also evolved from his study of light and its effects.
Rawal has exhibited his works all over India, Europe and the United States. He was a recipient of several awards, including a gold medal from the Maharashtra Government and an award at the Bharat Bhavan Biennale of Contemporary Indian Art in 1990. His most recent solo exhibitions include those held at Aicon Gallery, New York, in 2007; Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai, in 2005; and Admit One Gallery, New York, in 2000.
Rawal divides his time between Bhopal and Mumbai, where he lives and works.