(Last Updated on : 12-06-2013)
Jehangir Sabavala was born in 1922 in Mumbai
. He studied art at the Sir J. J. School of Art till 1944. After that he went to the Heatherly School of Art, London and to Paris where he was at the Academie Andre Lhote till 1951. He studied at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere in 1957. He started off as a professional artist with his first solo art exhibition held 60 years ago.
Sabavala's recent works show the artist's clear affinity with using veiled, muted tones which is interpreted as Sabavala'a love for nature and being governed primarily by classical influences. His style veers towards stroking wedges of colour and letting these overlap his canvas textures which is a technique that does little to conceal Sabavala'a mastery of texture on any painted surface. His recent works are more intent on using painting surfaces as a medium for expressing a magnitude and raw beauty contained in nature with relation to how humans can seem so irrelevant before it.
Some recent works of Sabavala show a play of natural light which is used to evoke movement and suggest depth to figures while soft earth tones are highlighted in a subtle manner. He works most often in oils, creating landscapes, seascapes and figures deftly with his brush, and has recently begun to paint cityscapes also. Veiled light and middle-tones appeal to him much more than pure colours and loud imagery. Jehangir Sabavala creates almost geometric wedges out of paint, which he puts together to form vast, tranquil scenes.
In his earlier works the human forms emerged as only a minute element on the canvas, shrouded in silence and summarize the notion of solitude perfectly. Jehangir Sabavala has also been felicitated with many prestigious awards for his unique and sustained contribution to the field of contemporary Indian art with a global perspective; one of these distinctions include the Padma Shri, presented by the Government of India
to Sabavala in 1977.
His most recent solo exhibits include 'Ricorso' at Aicon Gallery, New York, in 2009 and Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai, in 2008; and 'Jehangir Sabavala: A Retrospective' organized by Sakshi Gallery at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai and New Delhi, in 2005-06. Sabavala's works have also been featured in numerous group exhibitions all over the world, including more recently, 'Trends and Techniques - Water Color in India' at Galerie 88, Kolkata in 2005; 'The Search', Mumbai, in 2004; and in a display of the Jehangir Nicholson Collection, Mumbai, also in 2004.