The 1960s for Souza marks a very different chapter to the one that he had experienced in the 1950s when he was a recently arrived immigrant artist trying to establish himself in the London art scene. By 1960 he had had a string of sell-out shows. He could afford to buy nice suits and was more likely to be seen at the Royal Academy than in the drinking dens of Soho. A hardbound monograph was published by Anthony Blond in 1961, the essay written by a leading critic of the time Edwin Mullins. He was no longer living in digs or shared accommodation and had bought a large white stucco terraced house in Belsize Park.
These two paintings are done in this period and in fact depict Belsize Park and Hampstead which are old villages now incorporated into London and sit on and around Hampstead park overlooking the city.
Stylistically they are classic 1960 modernist works painted in thick oil with black outlines marking out the rooftops and spires. These works were highly desirable and commercial and Souza would’ve probably painted them in his studio and indeed sold them from the studio to his local affluent neighbours who would come and visit this now well-known figure.
Private UK collection (Acquired directly from the artist);
Grosvenor Gallery, London
South Asian Modern Art 2020, Grosvenor Gallery, London, 23 July - 14 August 2020 (illustrated exh. cat. pg. 24 - 25)
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