Renowned painter, sculptor, muralist Satish Gujral passes away at 94

Overtime, Satish Gujral's work focused on several themes prominent among which were the trauma of Partition, the relationship between man, animal and technology and mythology.

FP Trending March 27, 2020 10:30:29 IST
Renowned painter, sculptor, muralist Satish Gujral passes away at 94

Renowned painter and architect Satish Gujral, known among others for his design of the Belgian Embassy in Delhi and the Goa University, passed away on 26 March, 2020. He was 94.

The Padma Vibhushan-awardee was born in Jhelum, Pakistan in 1925 and picked up painting at the age of nine, when an accident near Pahalgam in Kashmir rendered him deaf. Over time, the artist's work focused on several themes, prominent among which were the trauma of Partition, the relationship between man, animal and technology and mythology. Gujral was also a sculptor and a muralist, his alphabet mural adorns the Delhi High Court today.

Gujral highlighted the traditional Indian miniatures and temple sculptures in his works.

The artist was also a part of the 2007 BBC television film Partition: The Day India Burned.

In an earlier interview with The Indian Express, the artist recalled that his earliest lessons in art came not from the medium itself but from the words of poets such as Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Ghalib and Iqbal.

Mourning his loss, art critic and curator Ranjit Hoskote tweeted saying that unlike his contemporaries who went to Paris or London to study art, Gujral chose to go to Mexico City to study with Diego Rivera and Siqueiros.

A Hindustan Times report also quoted Hoskote as saying, "I always admired Satish Gujral for the wide range of his practice, which embraced painting, sculpture and architecture. He was boldly experimental in his approach to materials like burnt wood, and took on a variety of scales, from the art object to the building. He was an heir to the Mexican muralists whose student he had been in the early 1950s, Diego Rivera and David Sequeiros."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted to offer his condolences over Gujral’s death. “Satish Gujral Ji was versatile and multifaceted. He was admired for his creativity as well as the determination with which he overcame adversity. His intellectual thirst took him far and wide yet he remained attached with his roots. Saddened by his demise. Om Shanti,” Modi wrote.

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri too paid tribute, writing that he will be remembered and missed by legions of his followers and admirers.

Om Birla, the current Lok Sabha Speaker said Satish Gujral will be remembered for his unique artistic imagination, intellectual fervour and multifaceted personality.

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