An excellent draughtsman, Pakala Thirumal Reddy’s lines have an even flow, rarely changing in thickness or intensity.
He was born to a farmer’s family in Andhra Pradesh’s Karimnagar district. Defying his family’s opposition to art as a professional practice and fascinated with colour and form in his childhood, Reddy joined Sir J. J. School of Art, Bombay, on a scholarship, to study painting.
In 1941, he, along with M. T. Bhopale, A. A. Majeed, M. Y. Kulkarni, and C. Baptista, formed Contemporary Painters of Bombay, a collective much before the Progressive Artists’ Group. He worked as a freelance artist in Bombay, working in the film industry as an art director, at printing presses and commercial studios. Setting up a furnishing industry at Hyderabad from 1947-67, he returned to being a fulltime artist in the 1950s.
A sensitive artist, Reddy evolved a unique vision of his own, creating complex compositions, realistic and expressionistic portraits, still-lifes, and impressionistic landscapes. His later works are abstract, often revealing a tantric influence with folk motifs and symbols, and a synthesis of almost contrary forms. He was also trained in mural design and was acquainted with the Rajput and Pahari miniature styles.
Reddy received gold, silver and bronze medals from various art societies, including the Dolly Cursetjee award and Mayo scholarship for murals. He received numerous other awards from other institutions including the Academy of Fine Arts, Calcutta, and the Andhra Pradesh Lalit Kala Akademi. He also founded the Sudharma Art Gallery in Hyderabad.
‘I give expression to inner cravings, and I am unable to identify myself with any school of thought’
P. T. REDDY
The ‘Manifestations’ series of 20th Century Indian Art, Editions VII, VIII, IX, X, XI
DAG, New Delhi and Mumbai, 2012-14
‘Indian Divine: Gods & Goddesses in 19th and 20th Century Modern Art’
DAG, New Delhi and Mumbai, 2014
‘Indian Portraits: The Face of a People'
DAG, New Delhi, 2013; Mumbai, 2014
‘India Modern: Narratives from 20th Century Indian Art’
DAG, New York, New Delhi, Mumbai, 2015; Chandigarh, 2017
‘The Naked and The Nude: The Body in Indian Modern Art’
DAG, New Delhi, 2013; Mumbai, 2015
‘The Fifties Show’
DAG, New Delhi, 2020
‘The Sixties Show’
DAG, Mumbai, 2020
‘Navrasa: The Nine Emotions of Art’
DAG, Mumbai and New Delhi, 2020
‘New Found Lands: The Indian Landscape from Empire to Freedom’