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Francis Newton Souza's tribute to Picasso

art-and-culture Updated: Dec 21, 2011 01:47 IST
Saudamini Jain
Saudamini Jain
Hindustan Times
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Check out 100 works by Pablo Picasso and Francis Newton Souza at an ongoing exhibition in the Capital.

Artist Francis Newton Souza changed the course of modern Indian art, and one of his biggest inspirations was the legendary Pablo Picasso. For the first time, an exhibition explores the close connection between the works of these artists, with about 100 works by Picasso and Souza juxtaposed against each other.

The exhibition includes drawings, oil paintings, etchings, linocuts and ceramics. Picasso’s works have been drawn from all periods. We chose Souza’s work from the 1950s and 1960s - his best period,” says Parul Vadehra, director, Vadehra Art Gallery, which is hosting the show.

The works of the two artists are featured side by side. “Their works have been juxtaposed so that people can draw comparisons, and see the inspirations that Souza drew from-Picasso,” says Vadehra. “These works are very hard to find. They have been sourced from galleries and private collections all over the world,” says Conor Macklin, Director, Grosvenor Vadhera Gallery, London. “It took us over a year to put it all together,” he adds.

“The two had a lot in common. They were both competitive and iconic. While Souza never forgot his Indian roots, Picasso never forgot his Spanish connection,” says Macklin. They were founding members of the modern art movement in Europe and India respectively. Picasso co-founded the Cubist movement and Souza developed the Progressive artists’ movement. “They were both criticised - Picasso for his anti-war works, and Souza for his erotic ones,” says Macklin.

The exhibition displays the versatility of the two artists and explores the exchange of ideas, intellectual movements, and artistic trends that took place between Souza and Picasso, and ultimately between India and the rest of the world.

Also on display are photographs of the two artists taken by various photographers. These include Robert Doisneau’s Picasso And The Loaves, Andre Villers’ Les Mains (Picasso’s hands) and Ida Kar’s photographs of Souza.


: Picasso Souza


: Vadehra Art Gallery, D-42 Defence Colony, New Delhi


Till 14 January, 2012


11am to 7pm


Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) was born in Malaga, Spain. He is known as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. He was at the centre of the major art movements of the 20th century. Picasso, along with Georges Braque, created cubism in the early 1900s and later became associated with the surrealist group. His paintings have sold for over $150 million. In addition to being present in most major museum and private collections in the world, there are three museums dedicated solely to his work.