1934 - 2000

Hailing from an artistic family based in Bombay, P. Khemraj was fascinated with manifestations of all fine things of every aspect of life. On completion of his training in drawing and painting from the J. J. School of Art, Bombay, Khemraj, a fine violinist, left for New Delhi to learn the sitar from Pandit Ravi Shankar. A three-year government scholarship for studies in France, from 1962 to 1965, gained the young artist exposure to new styles and techniques, which he obtained from Stanley William Hayter, the father of modern printmaking, Krishna Reddy, a pioneer in the field of simultaneous multi-coloured prints, and other cubist, impressionist, expressionist and surrealist artists from whom Khemraj learnt to express formations using line as a life-force.
Influenced by Palsikar and Almelkar in his early years, upon his return from Paris Khemraj began evolving an abstract signature style that he tried in acrylic or mixed media on mount board. His affinity to medieval and modern Western art movements and love of his own roots were inspirational in creating a fine balance between the two worlds. His series Hatheli, Charpai, Prithvi, Heart and the powerful drawings called Singing Lines were born from real-life encounters, inspirations and the artist’s spontaneous zest for life. His rendition of birds and flowers indicated Khemraj’s conviction that life in not a trust but a gift to revel in. His last phase before he expired in 2000 was an instance of an ancient philosopher and seer’s benign imaging.