Krishnaji Howlaji Ara (1914-85)
Ara, known for his still life and nudes, never dated his works. He painted in bursts, often completing several paintings in a day. Watercolours were his forte and his works exude a sense of calm. He worked as a domestic servant and later a car washer, and painted in his free time.
Maqbool Fida Husain (born 1915)
He is the epitome of the artist figure in India, especially in light of the controversy over the last decade. He found a segue between the modern and the perceived Indian visual idiom. The horse, rural India and women in bold, choppy strokes remain his most identifiable subjects. He painted billboards and cherubs on children’s nursery furniture before he met the other Progressives.
Hari Ambadas Gade (1917-2001)
A self-confessed colourist, he is referred to as a painter’s painter. He was a mathematician who let colour rather than structure be the principle guiding force of his art. Gade’s job as a teacher meant he painted the least among his peers.
Sayed Haider Raza (born 1922)
His works exult in colour, form and line. He adopted the ‘bindu’ as a leitmotif early on and achieved much fame and recognition.
Sadanand K Bakre (1920-2007)
The only sculptor among the Progressives, Bakre did odd jobs as a woodcarver, bricklayer and mason to support himself when he went to London, leaving India just when he had achieved recognition. He was a master of technique and could spend years on a single artwork.
Francis Newton Souza (1924-2002)
This enfant terrible’s prolific output stands testimony to the force with which he created art. Souza is distinguished by his highly charged nudes, strong lines and heavy application of colour. The spiritual and the erotic were the two dominant themes of his work.