Mohan Samant

An elusive Modernist, Mohan Samant was born in 1926 in Bombay. He graduated from the J.J school of Art and studied the techniques Bashouli School under M. Paliskar. The influence of the bold vitality of colour and line witnessed in the Bashouli miniature painting can be seen in Samant’s work. He joined the PAG in the early 1950s but unlike the other members who took their inspiration predominantly from the Paris School, Samant was hugely influenced by the Ajanta Murals and Rajput miniature paintings. He went to Italy on a cultural exchange through a scholarship granted by the Italian Government. Samant eventually went to New York in 1959 on a Rockefeller grant and started living there permanently from the year 1968. A unique thing about Samant’s style of working is that he chooses not to prepare in any manner using drawing and sketches on paper. He directly proceeds with painting on the canvas without any preparation. He is often described as the missing link in the evolutionary narrative in the contemporary art of India. He was an important part not only of the Indian Modern art but also of the New York art world. Even Hillary Clinton honoured him with the title of the best living artist in Manhattan during her senatorial campaign. His works are a part of important collections like The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Asia Society, New York and Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC to name a few. The artist passed away in the year 2004.;

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