Frieze New York 2018

03 May – 06 May 2018

Neither style nor theme dictates my art. I paint as I please, for I paint for the pure pleasure of painting  - Mohan Samant

Jhaveri Contemporary presents a solo display of paintings and works on paper by Mohan Samant (1924–2004), an artist who is considered a ‘missing link’ in the narrative of modern Indian art. A member of the short-lived Progressive Artists’ Group, he exhibited alongside many of India’s leading artists, including FN Souza, SH Raza, and MF Husain. Samant also showed with the Bombay Group, which included KK Hebbar and KH Ara. He spent 1957 and 1958 in Rome on a scholarship awarded by the Italian government. He visited Egypt the same year. In February 1959, a Rockefeller fellowship took him to New York City, where he would remain until 1964. 

Born in Bombay, Samant grew up in a cultured environment where music and literary pursuits were central to his family. He attended the JJ School of Art and upon graduation in 1952, won the Governor’s prize at the Annual Bombay Art Society Exhibition. In 1956, Samant was awarded the Gold Medal at the Bombay Art Society’s group exhibition, the Gold Medal at the Calcutta Art Society show, and the Lalit Kala Akademi All India Award. Samant also participated that year in the seminal exhibition Eight Painters: Bendre, Gaitonde, Gujral, Husain, Khanna, Kulkarni, Kumar, Samant curated by Thomas Keehn in New Delhi. 

Exhibitions during Samant’s first New York period included what is considered the first showing of the Progressive Artists’ Group in America: Trends in Contemporary Painting from India: Gaitonde, Husain, Khanna, Kumar, Padamsee, Raza, Samant, Souza curated by Thomas Keehn and held at the Graham Gallery, New York, as well as A Collection of Contemporary Art (organized by the Art in Embassies Committee), the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1961); Recent Acquisitions, the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1963); Dunn International:102 Best Painters of the World, Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, and the Tate Gallery, London (1963).

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