An Intriguing Group Show Explores the Ethnic Identities of India’s Diaspora Artists
"We took a train to the country. We walked in the array of varied greens. Verdure: rich green chlorophyll landscape, spreading leaves, green stems, pale green stalks, tall trees, thick viridian foliage, growth of grass, reeds, roots, terra-verte." (E. Mullins, Souza, London, 1962, p. 83)
With a palette of fresh greens, soothing yellows and deep blues, Souza depicts in Landscape with Windows a composition where nature and civilization coexists harmoniously. The viewer is immediately drawn into the painting which naturally flows from left to right. Juxtaposing the undulating lines of the growing forest and the playful cubism of the windows, the artist uses form and color to express the benevolent tranquility of the scene. Instead of his typical dark outlined paintings, Souza has so much confidence in his gesture that he jettisons use of the black lines completely - it is no longer used to maintain order within his composition. Here the artist sets the color free from the linear constraints and lets the viewer imagine an invisible townscape by delicately suspending colorful windows in midair.
Signature: signed and dated 'Souza 61' (upper right); further titled 'Landscape / with Windows- 1961' (on the reverse)
A. Kurtha, Francis Newton Souza: Bridging Western and Indian Modern Art, Ahmedabad, 2006, p. 84 (illustrated)
Acquired directly from the artist
Francis Newton Souza was one of the first painters to achieve international recognition from a newly independent India, as well as a leading figure of its avant-garde movement. As a result of his time spent abroad, Souza’s style drew heavily from Expressionism and Art Brut. Often referred to as the “Indian Picasso”, Souza became known for his aggressive lines and thick application of color. He was fascinated with images of the sacred and the profane, and the boundary that divided them; his favorite subjects included the human figure, frequently depicted engaging in erotic acts and organized rituals of religion. Souza was also responsible for co-founding the Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group in 1947, which sought to encourage artists to depict Indian subject matter with Western Modernist styles.