Manu Parekh is an acclaimed and celebrated modern artist who has made valuable contributions to Indian Modern Art. His paintings involve visual drama that immaculately reflects the relationship between the human and nature. Manu has seen the sights of various art forms and scales. His dynamic personal vision and distinctive approach towards art is exemplary and central to the understanding of his work. His magnificent artwork depicts all shades of expressions like hope, despair, and faith and has become a natural extension of his own personality as an artist.
Education & Work
Manu Parekh was born in the year 1939 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Besides painting, he was also a famous designer and actor. He learnt drawing and painting under the meticulous guidance of Mukund Shroff in 1951. Thereafter, from 1958-62, he studied drawing and painting from Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai. His early paintings marvelously depicted the intricate and inquisitive relationship between human and nature, which formed the basis of his artistic oeuvre. Manu’s work was highly swayed and motivated by his immediate surroundings including Rabindranath Tagore’s philosophy and the masters like Ram Kinkar Baij. National School of Drama (NSD) has also played a pivotal role in widening his vision and building artistic sensibility.
He worked as an Art designer in Mumbai in 1963, and prior to that he worked as a stage designer in Ahmedabad. Manu also worked as a design consultant for Handicraft and Handloom Export Corporation of India, in Calcutta (1965-74) and in Delhi (1974-1989). As a design consultant and an art designer, he travelled to Belgium, Holland, France, Italy, and Germany in 1976.
Manu along with his wife Madhavi Parekh has made magnificent artworks on the city of Banaras and life of people in New Delhi. Superb landscapes created by him involve pictures of fantastical organisms. These landscapes are part-bird, woman and vegetation - spreading in and out of each other. Some of the masterpieces evolved from his color palette prompt on lookers to fathom the outer world through the host of emotions voiced in the subject.
He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions across the globe including those held at the Smithsonian in USA and the NGMA in Delhi. Among his selected solo and group exhibitions are: 'Banaras', Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi (2004); 'The Pursuit of Intensity', Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai (2009); ’Ritual Oblations', Sakshi Gallery and Jehangir Gallery (1999); 'Portraits of Flower & Landscapes of River', Jehangir Gallery and Tao Art, Mumbai (2003); 'Aureus 2011', Gallerie Nvya, Delhi; '10 x 10', Gallery Threshold, Delhi (2010); 'Who Has Seen Gandhi?' courtesy Tangerine, Bangalore; 10th Anniversary Show', Tao Art (2010); ‘Seven Indian Artists’, an international traveling show (1982); and ‘Snow', The Palette Gallery, Delhi with Tao Art (2010).
Awards and Accolades
Parekh has received several prestigious awards. In the year 1972, he was honored with the President of India's Silver Plaque and the All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society Award, New Delhi; the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi in 1982; and the Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Kolkata in 1971 & 1991. He is also a recipient of India’s fourth highest civilian award “Padma Shri” (1992) by the Govt. of India. Also, a documentary film ‘Dwitya’ was featured on him and his wife and was sponsored by the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi. He lives and works in New Delhi