Lot #212

Francis Newton Souza
Portrait with tongue out

coloured markers
signed and dated 1983 centre left; unframed
11.25 x 8.5 ins ( 28.6 x 21.6 cms ) ( sheet )

Bidding has concluded on this item.
Auction Estimate: $4,000.00$3,000.00 - $4,000.00
Price Realized: $3,000.00
Private Collection
Christopher P. Wood, “India’s first modern artist”, The Guardian Arts [online publication], June 17, 2002
In the obituary that appeared in “The Guardian Arts” newspaper shortly after Souza’s death, Christopher P. Wood captures the essence of Souza’s imagery and subject matter “Here the east, the west, the spiritual and the physical fuse together, giving credence to his often used declaration that, the ‘whole meaning of life is life itself’.”

Francis Newton Souza was one of India’s most famous and pioneering modern artists. He was a founding member of the Progressive Art Group along with MF Husain, KH Ara, SK Bakre, SH Raza and HA Gade. In 1949 he and his wife settled in London where he experienced the hardship of trying to make it in a new art market. Souza was also a brilliant writer and during this time he made a living as a journalist. In 1955 he published an autobiographical essay entitled Nirvana Of A Maggot, which was shown to the writer Stephen Spender, who introduced Souza to Victor Musgrave the owner of Gallery One. That same year he had an exhibition with the gallery which would be his first sold out show, launching his career in the west.

Influences of Expressionism, Art Brut and Cubism can be seen in his work, as can a wry sense of humour. Playing with themes of religion, eroticism or simply observing the head of a man these three drawings all possess the same whimsy that can be found in his paintings.

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Francis Newton Souza
(1924 - 2002)