Prabhakar Barwe: Exploring the nuances of form and space

Prabhakar Barwe: Exploring the nuances of form and space

Prabhakar Barwe was a pioneer of 'Modern Indian' painting who was active in Mumbai from 1959 until his death on December 6, 1995. As he got influenced by the esoteric tradition of 'Tantric' painting, the celebrated artist, along with GR Santosh, PT Reddy, KCS Paniker, Biren De, Om Prakash, K V Haridasan, Prafulla Mohanti and Mahirwan Mamtani, was considered part of the modernist movement, 'Neo-Tantra'.'

Barwe was occupied with exploring the nuances of form and space throughout his artistic career spanning three decades.

"A playful relationship exists between form and space. Indeed, what is a form in one context becomes space in another and vice versa. The boundaries of space are the form and the existence and feelings within the form are space. Form and space are so interlinked that it is difficult to talk of them separately," the artist was quoted saying in 'The Blank Canvas', Mumbai's Bodhana Arts and Research Foundation in 2013.

"I thought painting was like war with the canvas. Only later I realised it was not so; that one has to surrender, to start speaking so that there is a dialogue. This I only understood later," Barwe had said.

(The above paintings belong to the family of a Delhi-based collector.)

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