Born On: 25 December 1925
Born In: Jhelum, Pakistan
Career: Painter, sculptor, muralist, graphic designer and architect
Satish Gujral was born in Jhelum, a small river town in Pakistan, formerly a part of undivided India. Gujral has gained a global recognition for his unmatched talents and creativity that cover a wide realm of art forms including painting, graphics, mural, sculpture, architecture and interior designing. Owing to his contributions to arts and artistic works, he has been hailed as a living legend within the art fraternity. He is one of those few great artists who have managed to etch an indelible impression in the realms of contemporary Indian art. Much of his artworks seem to have been inspired from Indian culture and tradition, Indian architecture and temple sculptures. The Belgium Embassy of New Delhi, which was selected as one of the 1000 best-built in 20th century by the "International Forum of Architects", is a perfect example of his superlative talent. Read on to learn more on the career, life and achievements of Satish Gujral.
Satish Gujral was born on 25 December 1925 in Jhelum, formerly a part of undivided India. At a young age of eight, he met with an accident that impaired his hearing abilities for good. He lost his brother Raj in the mishap. May be it is the perpetual silence that surrounded him that helped him to discover the artistic talents in him. Driven by his interest in applied arts, he joined the Mayo School of Art in Lahore and mastered stone and woodcarving, clay modeling, drawing and design, scale drawing etc. In 1944, he joined Sir J.J. School of Art, Bombay to pursue painting and became a member of Progressive Artists Group (PAG). However, he could not get along with many of the PAG's concepts like absorbing the techniques of European Expressionism and Cubism. He wanted to develop some moderns techniques but without rooting out the art from Indian tradition and culture.
Satish was badly affected by recurring illness and had to discontinue his studies. He got a scholarship for apprenticeship with famous Mexican painters Diego Rivera and David Sequeiros and left to Mexico in the year 1952 to pursue the same. He was enrolled into Palacio Nationale de Belles Artes, Mexico. He became emotionally disturbed by the partition and his anger was expressed through paintings called 'Partition' that portrayed the pain of the nation who parted with their homes, families and friends during the partition.
He is married to Kiran and the couple has a son Mohit Gujral and two daughters Alpana Gujral and Raseel Gujral. Alpana is a jewelry designer and Raseel is an interior designer who owns the luxury store network called the Casa Paradox. Former Prime Minister of India Inder Kumar Gujral is the brother of Satish Gujral.
Satish Gujral is a sculptor, architect and a painter. In his paintings, he has tried to experiment with arts and to express his ideas in different ways. He conducted solo exhibitions of his work around the world from the year 1952 to 1974. Famous cities like Mexico City, New York, New Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Montreal, Rome, Berlin, Tokyo, Buenos Aires and Stockholm witnessed his exhibitions. He is a good writer as well and has published four books so far, including an autobiography called "A Brush With Life".
Satish Gujral is considered as one of the pioneers of Indian arts in post-independence era. He did murals for many establishments like Punjab University, Odeon Cinema in New Delhi, World Trade Fair in New York, Oberoi Hotel in New Delhi, Northern Railway in New Delhi, Ministry of Education in New Delhi, Agricultural University, Oberoi Towers in Bombay, The Palace of the Sultan of Muscat, Delhi High Court, Gandhi Institute in Mauritius etc. to name some.
He designed some important buildings as well. Some of them are Daryani House in New Delhi Modi House, Gandhi Institute, Datwani House, Belgian Embassy in New Delhi, and Dass House in New Delhi, Goa University, Palace AI-Bwordy in Dubai, the Indian Ambassador's house in Indonesia etc. to name some.
Awards and Accolades