Pinnacle - Progressives; a Unique Exhibition Featuring Works by India’s Most Eminent Artists from the Progressive Artists Group

New York, NY, March 10, 2007 --( On 21 March 2007 TamarindArt will celebrate its anniversary as a full-time gallery with the opening reception of Pinnacle – Progressives. This is a unique exhibition featuring works by India’s most eminent artists from the Progressive Artists Group. It is a rare opportunity and a treat to see such great masterpieces of contemporary Indian art under one roof.

For Press: 21 March 2007 from 6pm – 9pm (by RSVP only)
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This exhibition will be open to the public by appointment only from 22 March to 7 April 2007.

Featured artists: Bal Chhabda, VS Gaitonde, MF Husain, Krishen Khanna, Ram Kumar, Tyeb Mehta, Akbar Padamsee, SH Raza and FN Souza

Featured Artwork: The centerpiece of the show will be MF Husain’s monumental painting Lightning a 12-panel, 10ft x 60ft work. This will be the first public exhibition of this work in the United States. 

About the Artists:

Bal Chhabda, a self-taught eighty plus year-old Mumbai based artist, began painting in oils in the late 1950s.  Chhabda, famously adverse to both the market and publicity had his firs retrospective, “50 Years of Bal Chhabda Paintings in New York” in early 2006 at TamarindArt.

VS Gaitonde is considered one of India’s foremost abstractionists. Gaitonde's works are known for evoking subliminal depths. Plain, large surfaces with paint layered, subtly characterize his work. His paintings have a quality of light that seems to be complete in itself.

MF Husain is a self-taught artist who began his career painting film billboards. Husain is a uniquely celebrated and honored figure in contemporary India. His work is figurative using a visual language that blends folk, tribal and mythological imagery and a modernist aesthetic that draws equally from music, dance, sculpture and cinema.

Krishen Khanna learned to paint at evening classes conducted at the Mayo School of Art, Lahore. In the wake of India's partition he moved to Simla and thereafter to Delhi where he currently lives and works. Khanna is known for his gestural style and thick impasto surfaces.

Ram Kumar took classes at the Sarada Ukil School of Art, and then went to Paris and studied further there under Andre Lhote and Fernand Léger. He was befriended by SH Raza who was living in Paris at the time. Ram Kumar paints abstract landscapes, usually in oil or acrylic. He is also an author, writing fiction in Hindi. He lives and works in Delhi.

Tyeb Mehta Initially a film editor, his interest in painting led him to the Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai from where he graduated in 1952. His work is characterized by matt surfaces, diagonal lines breaking his canvases, and images of anguish - a result of his preoccupation with formalist means of expression.

Akbar Padamsee’s painting style is difficult to articulate, for his work ranges from the figurative to the non-objective. The reverberating expressions of form, volume, space, time, and color in many of his works are both cerebral and sensual. Padamsee is most popularly known for his Metascapes.

SH Raza says his paintings are the "result of two parallel enquiries." The first is "pure plastic order" and the second is his concern with nature. These enquiries converge and become the "Bindu”. His early works draw from memories of his childhood in Babaria. Over the years his paintings have evolved from expressionist landscapes of his youth to more geometric forms, purely abstract in nature.  Raza has lived and worked in France since the 1950s.

FN Souza was the first avant-garde artist from India to achieve widespread recognition in the West. Souza is best known for his inventive human forms particularly his expressionist heads.  Art critic John Berger once said of Souza’s paintings, “he straddles many traditions but serves none”.

About the Progressive Artists Group: In 1947 India became independent of British rule. A group of six artists – K H Ara, S K Bakre, H A Gade, MF Husain, S H Raza and F N Souza - founded the Progressive Artists Group, to establish new ways of expressing India in the post-colonial era. Though the group was dissolved in 1956, it was profoundly influential in changing the idiom of Indian art. Almost all major artists in India working in the 1950s were associated with the group, vis-à-vis Bal Chhabda, V S Gaitonde, Krishen Khanna, Ram Kumar, Tyeb Mehta, and Akbar Padamsee.

For more information on this exhibition or to schedule a viewing please contact TamarindArt Gallery at (212) 990 – 9000 ext. 105.

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11 am to 6:00 pm; Saturdays, noon to 6:00 pm.  For more information about the show, call 212-990-9000 or visit their web site at

About TamarindArt
The gallery was inaugurated as a museum in April 2003, and in early 2006 became a full-time gallery. Since its inception they have had several exhibitions including “Lightning” by MF Husain, "50 Years of Bal Chhabda: Paintings in New York," Akbar Padamsee’s “Lines of Distinction, Strokes of Genius, Works on Paper 1959-2006” among others.

TamarindArt’s vision is to curate exhibitions that reflect a healthy balance between senior established artists and younger talents working with experimental forms of conceptual installations. This combination reflects some of the most important trends in contemporary Indian art.

Rosanne Bergeron
142 East 39th Street
New York, NY 10016