Sudhir Patwardhan, a radiologist and self-taught contemporary painter walked us through the gallery and discussed his painting ‘Bhaiya’ which was on display. He spoke about his creative process, as well as his responses to his fellow artists, who share the gallery space with him.
This was the first of three walkthroughs of the show “Six Decades: Celebrating the Mumbai Artists from the Jehangir Nicholson Collection”, that enriched the interaction between artists, the collection and the public.
Sudhir Patwardhan was born in 1949 in Poona. He is a self taught artist and a practicing radiologist. He began painting seriously in the 70’s when he moved to Bombay. Patwardhan’s works centers around one poetically monumental panorama of an urban and natural environment The human figure remains the center of his painterly universe. His early paintings of construction workers, rickshaw drivers and railway porters possess an expressive urgency.
Patwardhan uses scale to maintain an emotional distance from his subject. Recording landscapes in transition has been a lasting interest for him. He often paints the suburbs, shanty towns and satellite townships where his subjects work and live.
Patwardhan’s canvases are densely populated reflecting the hub of city life often with emphasis on the ordinary, working man. His human forms are imbued with a sense of innate dignity as they go about performing their chores in busy city streets or in suburban construction sites.
Apart from several solo shows Patwardhan has participated in international exhibitions like ‘Aspects of Modern Indian Art’ Oxford, UK 1982; Contemporary Indian Art, Festival of India, London, 1982; Seven Indian Artists, Hamburg, West Germany, 1982; Contemporary Indian Art Festival of India, New York, 1985; Festival of India, Center George Pompidou, Paris 1986 and ‘Coupe de Coeur’ Geneva, 1987.
In 2004, a monograph on his work, ‘The Complicit Observer’ was written by Ranjit Hoskote. In 2007, Hoskote also wrote ‘The Crafting of Reality- Sudhir Patwardhan: Drawings’, which was translated into Marathi and a monograph in Marathi was published in 2012. Anjali Monteiro and K. P. Jaysankar have made a film on Sudhir. In 2012, the Mumbai theater group Awishkar staged a play ‘Chitragoshti’ based on Patwardhan’s paintings.
Patwardhan curated an exhibition of Indian Contemporary Art ‘Expanding Horizons’ which travelled around Maharashtra. He also curated a show at Guild Art Gallery, Mumbai and Sudarshan Art Gallery, Pune. He lives and works in Thane, Mumbai.