Closing this week at Sundaram Tagore’s Hong Kong space is the first East Asian retrospective of Natvar Bhavsar, a famed Indian artist who made his career in New York and his name in Venice. I must agree with the acquisition curators of major museums around the globe: his work is stunning. It is at once immediate and meditative, and refreshingly bereft of conceptual conceit.
Bhavsar left his native state of Gujarat at the age of 24 to pursue an M.F.A. at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. Upon graduating in 1965, he moved to New York’s then near-derelict SoHo district, where he has lived ever since. The artist’s early career coincided with the rise of minimalism and the color-field masters, and he numbered many of today’s household names such as Rothko, Newman, and Motherwell among his good friends. As he recounted some years back in an interview with Rediff India Abroad, “(Rothko) was supposed to come to my show the week he committed suicide. I went to visit him and the doctor had told him not to drink or smoke. He would go out of the room to drink vodka. He asked me to get him a pack of cigarettes. I did it.”
Read the article by Liang Pu on ArtSlant by clicking here.