Manu Parekh was born in 1939 in Ahmedabad and studied in J J School of Arts, Mumbai, and
National School of Drama. Starting his career as a theatre artist and a stage designer, Parekh
went on to become the art Director at the Weaver’s Service Centre followed by Handicrafts
and Handlooms Export Corporation of India as a Design Consultant before fully focusing on
being a freelance artist.
As a third generation modernist and with over 60 years of his painting career, Parekh
painted from his experience accrued from his life in Ahmedabad, Banaras, Kolkata and Delhi
over the years and in different significant stages. Considering himself more of a physical
painter who tried seeing beyond the rhetoric’s of a mere physical existence he captured the
pulse of a place, its people, their emotions, daily mundane life, the nature with its blue ever
changing sky to the light of the setting sun transforming a simple landscape giving it a
His work ‘The Last Supper’ has elements of a play and shows the influence of his background
in theatre. His series on Bhagalpore blinding, city of Banaras with its florescent skies and its
fluid ghats, Kolkata with its colonial history, its people their pathos, the strong women
forming the inherent backbone of the city, the feel of Delhi as something serene in contrast
to this all found their representation as figurative abstraction in his canvases. The series of
Early Works, Rituals and Abstract, Animals, Still Life, Heads and Banaras Landscapes is the
embodiment of his work done through his expansive career.
Some of his strong geometric forms have come alive with blue, indigo, orange, red and
purple; sometimes the earthy shades, sweeping brush strokes breathing life into his
versatile oeuvres of work. All through he has celebrated polemics, the energetic link
between man and nature, the inherent sexuality within these forms, which has exerted their
tangible presence as a volatile energy in his paintings.
He received the Birla Academy of Art and Culture Award, Calcutta, 1971 &
1991,All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society Award, 1972 & 1974, Silver Plaque of
the President of India, 1972, National Art Award, Lalit Kala Academy, 1982,
Padma Shri, Government of India, 1992.
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