Is born in Margao, Goa, under Portuguese occupation, to a Brahmin
Schooling in Marathi from Damodar Vidyalaya, and in Portuguese
and English from New Era High School.
The state’s lush beauty and landscapes will become a recurrent
source of inspiration for his work and provide him the initial impetus
to pursue a career in the arts.
Is part of India’s struggle for independence by joining the Goa
Liberation Movement during his final years at college, suffering
political repercussions as a minor. Is tortured in police custody in
Is awarded the prestigious Mayo medal.
Starts teaching at Sir J. J. School of Art (till 1951).
Exhibits with Shankar Palsikar at Bombay Art Society.
Has a solo exhibition at Bombay Art Society.
Sails for Paris with his artist friend Sadanand Bakre; they are met
by artists S. H. Raza, F. N. Souza, and Akbar Padamsee, who have
preceded them. While studying at École des Beaux-Arts, he is exposed to works by
Paul Klee, Joan Miro, and Mark Chagall. His artistic style begins to
include elements like angular simplification, the exceptional flatness
of the pictorial surface and the use of expressive, rhythmical lines. During this period, he has one-man shows in Paris (frequently),
London, Munich, Stuttgart, Bremen, Bombay, and New Delhi.
Pai presents a portrait of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to him at
the latter’s residence in New Delhi. At a time when academic portraits
are still popular, Pai’s experimentation with modern portraiture sets
him apart from his peers, even when they are not always considered
flattering by the hoi-polloi.
Exhibits at Galerie Dauphine, Paris.
Participates in Biennale de Paris, France, and in Le Printemps, Galerie
d’ Arts, Paris.
Returns to India and settles down in Bombay.
Wins Lalit Kala Akademi’s national award.
An exhibition of his works from 1948-62 is held at Jehangir Art
Takes part in Tokyo Biennale, Japan, and Sao Paulo Biennale, Brazil.
Has an exhibition at Raj Bhawan, Bombay.
Has an exhibition at Shridharani Gallery, Triveni Kala Sangam, New
Is part of ‘Musical Moods’, a series of paintings inspired by Indian
ragas, organised by Kanika Art Centre, New Delhi, and Taj Art
His ‘Purusha and Prakriti’ exhibition opens at Triveni, New Delhi.
Participates in a group show, ‘Dance Forms and Selection, 1947-67’,
organised by All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society, New Delhi.
Pai’s works are part of solo exhibitions in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur
His increasingly mythological works are exhibited in Goa, New Delhi and
Bombay at an exhibition titled ‘Ramayana’.
‘Human Forms’ exhibition at Jehangir Art Gallery, Bombay.
‘Kangra Valley’ exhibition at Kumar Art Gallery, New Delhi.
Exhibitions at Dhoomimal Art Gallery, New Delhi.
Is principal of Goa College of Art.
Is awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India. The
recognition is for Pai’s contribution as a painter as well as an educator.
He is among a handful of artists to have won several national awards,
and his penchant for exploring traditional Indian contexts through
the language of modernism wins him many admirers.
Is honoured by the Government of Goa.
‘Retrospective 1947-87’ sponsored by Kala Academy for Goa, Diu,
and Daman, Panaji.
An exhibition at Rabindra Bhawan, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, is
organised by Kumar Gallery.
His ‘Navras’ series is exhibited at Triveni, New Delhi; another solo
exhibition follows at the same venue in 1993.
Pai’s sensual, erotic works take centre stage at the ‘Purush Prakriti
in Kamasutra’ exhibition and ‘Kaama and Fantasies Series’, both at
Dhoomimal, New Delhi, and ‘Kaama-Krodh-Moha-Moksha’, also in
Is awarded the Nehru Award, Goa.
DAG’s 'Pai in Paris: Early Works' looks at the artist’s practice in the
European city with an exhibition curated by Roobina Karode.
Receives the Padma Bhushan from the Government of India.
Breathes his last on March 14 at his Dona Paula residence in Goa.