Modern Symposium: The Agony and the Ecstacy of the Mighty Souza



Thursday, March 22




He survived smallpox, for which he is owed his first name – Francis – after Goa’s patron saint St Francis Xavier. Several Bombay school expulsions later and a stint with the Communist party, he won first place in an art prize in 1947 – the same year of the India partition and also when Francis Newton Souza co-founded the Progressive Artists Group that sought to promote Avant-garde art in India. Two years later, he relocated to London and supported himself by writing for titles including ArtNews and Review and managed to stage a sold-out show at Gallery One in 1955. More shows came, so did institutional acquisitions and then a move to New York in 1967. Souza’s work was highly charged, often violent and sensual, and in his six-decade career, it would be fair to say that his seminal paintings are of Christ as well as the nudes. No doubt, he is among India’s most celebrated artists.

  • Ashish Anand, Director, DAG Modern, New Delhi/New York/Mumbai
  • Savita Apte, art historian specialising in modern and contemporary South Asian art
  • Moderated by Mahnaz Fancy, Senior Programme Officer, Sharjah Architecture Triennial

Access: No RSVP Required

Time: 6:30-7:30pm

Location: MiSK Lounge, Art Dubai Modern, Mina A’Salam