INDIAN MODERN ARTIST
- Born in 1933, Bela, Maharashtra, India
- Died in September 2001 (aged 67–68) Nagpur, Maharashtra India
- Lived and worked in Mumbai
UNDERSTANDING THE ARTIST
B Prabha’s early works were modern, freely rendered paintings. She started experimenting and soon developed what was to be recognized as her signature style. We can see a certain dynamism in her work over the years. The formal is an example of her earlier works whereas the latter is from her later practice.
She experimented with styles and subjects after obtaining her college degree from J.J. School of Art, Bombay. She began with watercolours and went on to experiment with Gouache and acrylics, finally settling on the simplicity of oil paints. Oil paints proved to be ideal for the earthy themes like landscapes and fisherwomen that she painted and for most part of her artistic career, she continued in this medium.
Prabha observed both urban and rural women in great detail in order to paint not just their lives, but also their sentiments. She found different women belonging to different strata of the society to be suffering differently and bearing with the weight without a murmur.
She believed that painters cannot work in isolation as it is their role in society to represent the underrepresented and voice the hidden ills. Her paintings include themes as varied as languid landscapes as well as pressing social issues like droughts, homelessness, hunger, poverty, oppression, plight of minorities, difficulties of motherhood among many others.
B Prabha is known for her rustic representation of women with their distinctive hairstyles and bright sarees. Her figures have elongated necks, arms and torsos with sharp features and dark colours. Her paintings are usually dominated with one single color that creates a monochromatic finish, giving the image an eternal appearance.
B Prabha, Untitled (Three women), 1962, oil on canvas
B Prabha, Untitled (Still Life), 1993, oil on canvas, 30 x 25 in
B Prabha, Untitled (Seated girl), 1965, oil on canvas
B Prabha, Untitled (Girl Playing a Sitar), 1967, oil on canvas
B Prabha, Untitled (fisherwoman), 1982, oil on canvas
B Prabha, Untitled (adivasi woman), 1982, oil on canvas
B Prabha, Playing Cards, 1985
B Prabha, Kashmiri Women, 1958, oil on board
B Prabha, Fisherwoman I , 1976, oil on canvas
B Prabha, Domestic duty, 1960, oil on canvas