The Progressives

The Progressive Artists’ Group, a collective of some of the most iconic modern artists of India, formed in 1947 in Bombay transformed the modern art scenario of the country. The founding members were rightly referred to as ‘heralds of a new dawn in the world of Indian art’ by celebrated author Mulk Raj Anand. They challenged the conservative artistic establishments of their times, and espoused a worldly mindset. The result was a beautiful synthesis of Indian art history with modernist styles such as post-impressionism, cubism and expressionism. Challenging the conservative art establishment of their times, the members desired to break away from the revivalist nationalism formed by the Bengal School of Art, and instead, promote a progressive style that was on par with international developments. The basic principle was to come out of the colonial hangover, and espouse a worldly mindset. The Progressive Artists' Group was formed by six founder members, F. N. Souza, S. H. Raza, M. F. Husain, K. H. Ara, H. A. Gade, and S. K. Bakre. Others associated with the group included Manishi Dey, Ram Kumar, Akbar Padamsee and Tyeb Mehta, Vasudeo S. Gaitonde, Krishen Khanna and Mohan Samant.