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B. Prabha (1933-2001) | Abstract / Figurative painter






B. Prabha was a major Indian artist who worked mainly in oil, in an instantly recognizable style. She is best known for graceful elongated figures of pensive rural women, with each canvas in a single dominant color. By the time of her death, her work had been shown in over 50 exhibitions, and is in some important collections, including India's National Gallery of Modern Art.
Prabha started working at a time when India had few women artists. She was deeply inspired by the work of seminal modernist Amrita Shergil. Prabha was moved by the lives of rural women, and over time, they became the main theme of her work.


In an interview with Youngbuzz India, she said ""I have yet to see one happy woman".
B. Prabha was born in the village of Bela, near Nagpur in Maharashtra. Growing up in a close-knit middle-class family, she studied at the Nagpur School of Art and went on pursue a Diploma in Painting and Mural Painting from the Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai.
Although she worked mostly with oils on canvas, this modern painter did explore several media, styles and subjects before finally settling with oils as her preferred medium.
Following her phase of experimentation, Prabha developed an elegant, formal style that remains her trademark. Her paintings cover a wide range of subjects, from landscapes to social issues like droughts, hunger and homelessness.


A significant component of Prabha’s body of work is the artist’s self-conscious attempt to immortalize the plight of women in her country.
Prabha’s signature style fully evolved after her marriage to fellow artist B. Vithal in 1956, when she moved from modern abstract forms to a more decorative figuration. She held her first joint exhibition with her husband the same year.
It is interesting to note that B. Prabha was a practicing female artist in an age where women were unapologetically oppressed, and it is no surprise therefore that Prabha used her own position as an artist to make strong comments on the same. While her work today might seem like a simple documentation of the figures of rural women, it must be taken into account that a few decades ago these might have been odes to the spirit and the plight of these women.



B. Prabha held two solo shows at Delhi’s Kumar Gallery in 1959 and 1961.
In 1993, her solo exhibition ‘Shradhanjali’ in Mumbai was dedicated to her late husband B. Vithal. Prabha’s work was included in the group exhibition ‘Contemporary Indian Painters’ at Jehangir Art Gallery in Mumbai in 1996.
She was also a part of Bombay State Art Exhibition in 1958 where she was awarded🎨,the first prize.
B. Prabha passed away in 2001.
Posthumously, her work has been included in shows like ‘Winter Moderns’ at Aicon Gallery, New York; and ‘Pot Pourri’ at Gallery Beyond, Mumbai, both in 2008.


1958 - First Prize at the Bombay State Art Exhibition;
Received All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society (AIFACS) Award🎨, New Delhi.















B. Prabha è stata una importante pittrice Indiana che ha lavorato principalmente ad olio, in uno stile immediatamente riconoscibile.
È meglio conosciuta per le aggraziate figure allungate di pensose donne rurali, con ogni tela in un unico colore dominante. 
Al momento della sua morte, il suo lavoro era stato esposto in oltre 50 mostre ed è presente in alcune importanti collezioni, tra cui la National Gallery of Modern Art dell'India.
Prabha ha iniziato a lavorare in un momento in cui l'India aveva poche artiste donne.
È stata profondamente ispirata dal lavoro della modernista seminale Amrita Shergil.


Prabha è stata commossa dalle vite delle donne rurali e nel tempo sono diventate il tema principale del suo lavoro.
In una intervista con Youngbuzz India, disse: "Devo ancora vedere una donna felice".
Prima di trasferirsi a Bombay, ha studiato alla Nagpur School of Art.
Ha anche ricevuto un diploma dalla Sir J. J. School of Art, alma mater di molti dei grandi artisti contemporanei dell'India.
Nel 1956 sposò l'artista e scultore B. Vithal, che morì nel 1992.
La sua prima mostra, mentre era ancora una studentessa, la mise sulla strada del successo quando tre dei suoi dipinti furono acquisiti dall'eminente scienziato indiano Homi J. Bhabha.










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