Souza in Hampstead: Online listing only - exhibition now closed

19 June - 26 July 2024

The exhibition has now finished, but in the interest of making the information easily accessible it will remain listed here until the end of July.


Grosvenor Gallery proudly announces the exhibition "Souza in Hampstead," celebrating the centenary of one of India’s most important and influential modern painters of the 20th century, Francis Newton Souza (1924-2002).


Souza, a founder of the Progressive Artists’ Group, significantly shaped the soul of modern Indian art. After moving to London, he joined the post-war British art scene alongside luminaries such as Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon, continuing to influence his contemporaries in India. Rejecting labels and compartmentalization of his subjects and techniques, Souza's work remains unique and complex. Art critic John Berger once remarked on Souza's diverse inspirations, stating, “How much Souza’s pictures derive from Western art and how much from the hieratic temple traditions of his country, I cannot say… because he straddles several traditions but serves none.”


Souza moved to London in 1949, arriving at Tilbury docks with only a few pounds and spent several years re-shaping his art for a new audience. Although he had exhibitions in Paris, his major breakthrough came in 1955 when Victor Musgrave's Gallery One began to represent him. Musgrave, a visionary dealer, showcased some of the most exciting artists of the day, and Souza quickly became his most successful artist, with several sell-out shows. After initially living in Paddington and North Kensington, Souza moved to Hampstead in the mid-1950s. By 1961, he had bought a mansion at 9 Belsize Park, where he lived and worked until 1968, when he emigrated to New York. During this period, he created significant works such as "The Crucifixion" and "The Mad Prophet of New York." Disturbed by the resumption of nuclear testing in the early 1960s, Souza expressed his protest through powerful paintings like "The Apocalypse" and "Oedipus Rex." His 1962 work, "Young Ladies of Belsize Park," a contemporary parody of Picasso’s "Demoiselles d’Avignon," is another highlight of this period.


The exhibition, in partnership with the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Saffronart, Grosvenor Gallery, and Harper Collins, is part of a broader centenary celebration, including shows in Goa, Mumbai, and New Delhi, alongside the release of an illustrated book featuring essays on Souza by prominent art critics.


Burgh House
New End Square
London NW3 1LT

Wednesday 19 - Friday 21: 10 am - 4 pm
Saturday 22: Closed
Sunday 23 June: 10 am - 4 pm