S. K. Bakre
S. K. Bakre S. K. Bakre S. K. Bakre

1920 - 2007

S. K. Bakre

Sadanandji K. Bakre's preoccupation with abstraction in his sculptures was inspired by Paul Klee’s lyricism and Picasso’s de-structuring of form.

A founding member of the Progressive Artists’ Group, he was born in Baroda, Gujarat, on 10 November 1920. Bakre obtained a diploma in modelling and stone carving from Sir J. J. School of Art, Bombay, following which he was a pilot with the Air Force during the Second World War.

In 1947, along with his friend F. N. Souza, Bakre founded the Progressive Artists’ Group, which was joined by S. H. Raza, K. H. Ara, H. A. Gade, and M. F. Husain, as founder members.

Rudi von Leyden, a leading voice of the Indian art scene in the mid-twentieth century, introduced Bakre to the modernist movements of the U.S. and Europe, and helped mentor his ideology. Dissatisfied with the contemporary art scene in India at the time, Bakre left for London to pursue his career and earned international renown, both as a sculptor and painter.

Bakre potentialised the human form by transforming it through distortion, fragmentation, and partial elimination. His canvases were executed in a sculptural manner depicting geometrical grids and abstracted human forms in a two-dimensional pattern. The bold and bright colours highlighted the contrast of straight and curved lines.

A much-feted artist, Bakre returned to India in the later years to lead a recluse’s life. He passed away in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra, on 18 December 2007.

'...my interest in forms has gone far beyond the dull imitations of subject matter,
which to me is almost unimportant’



dag exhibitions

‘Continuum: Progressive Artists’ Group'

DAG, New Delhi, 2011

The ‘Manifestations’ series of 20th Century Indian Art, Editions VII, VIII, X

DAG, New Delhi and Mumbai, 2012-14

‘Indian Landscapes: The Changing Horizon’

DAG, New Delhi, 2012

‘Mumbai Modern: Progressive Artists’ Group, 1947-2013’

DAG, Mumbai, 2013

‘Indian Abstracts: An Absence of Form’

DAG, New Delhi, 2014; Mumbai and New York, 2015

‘India Modern: Narratives from 20th Century Indian Art’

DAG, New York, New Delhi, and Mumbai, 2015; Chandigarh, 2017

‘Memory & Identity: Indian Artists Abroad’

DAG, New York, 2016; Mumbai, 2017

‘The Fifties Show’

DAG, New Delhi, 2020

‘The Sixties Show’

DAG, Mumbai, 2020

‘Home is a Place: Interiority in Indian Art’

DAG, New Delhi, 2021

‘Indian Blue: From Realism to Abstraction’

DAG, New Delhi, 2021

notable collections

National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi

Jehangir Nicholson Art Foundation, Mumbai

Piramal Art Foundation, Mumbai

Government Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh

archival media

The Times of India

31 May 1998


4 November 2002

The Indian Express

8 November 2002