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Satish Gujral

Artist Discription

Gujral's parents nurtured his inclination towards the creative arts while he was recovering from an accident as a child that cost him his hearing and speech. He trained at Mayo School of Art, Lahore, and briefly at Sir J. J. School of Art, Bombay. He also came in contact with the Progressive Artists’ Group but parted ways to chart his own course in search of an Indian modernism.

Personal turbulence arising out of his loss of hearing—which he regained after a surgery sixty-two years later—coupled with the trauma of Partition during which his family migrated to India, had a deep impact on Gujral, informing some of his most iconic works.


Another profound influence was his trip to Mexico on a scholarship in 1952, where he interacted with Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros, resulting in large-scale murals, mostly in mosaic and ceramic tiles. He also made works in burnt wood and machine-like steel elements. An important highlight was his design of the Belgian Embassy in New Delhi that was selected by the International Forum of Architects as one of the finest buildings of the twentieth century.

Gujral received numerous awards including the Da Vinci award for lifetime achievement from Mexico, honors from the Lalit Kala Akademi, and the Padma Vibhushan from the Indian government. He passed away in New Delhi on 26 March 2020.

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