Jeram Patel

Jeram Patel altered the Indian art scene of the 60's by rebelling against the prevalent modernist approaches of his times and forged a new visual identity and method of abstraction. Born in 1930 at Sojitra in the Kaira district of Gujarat, his practice consisted of continuous exploration in materials like blowtorch on wood, black and white drawings, and paintings on board and canvas.

Patel studied drawing and painting at the Sir J. J. School of Art, Bombay, from 1950-55. He also learnt typography and publicity design from 1957-59 at Central School of Arts and Craft, London. His zeal to expand the horizons of Indian Contemporary Art was seen with a collective,Group 1890 which he founded alongside,  NS Bendre, Sankho Chowdhuri and Jagdish Swaminathan who were also pioneer figures in setting up the Baroda School of Art.

His extensive investment on  blowtorch on wood and color black gave us some of the most alluring and celebrated works of art. Talking about his fascination with black to Prayag Shukla in 2007, Jeram Bhai as he was fondly called in the art fraternity said “Black has always fascinated me. It is very strong and hits your senses whenever you are in front of the color. It seems that black in itself carries many things no one knows deposited by whom, and when.” He began working with his much revered  blowtorch works  in 1961 after an inspiring trip to Japan and continued making until 1974 on his return to India.

He  has held one-man shows in London, New Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai and has represented India at the Tokyo Biennale of 1963, the Sao Paulo Biennale of 1963, the Third World Biennale at Baghdad in 1980 and the Festival of India, London, in 1982.  His contribution to Indian Art can be enumerated by the various awards bestowed upon him. He is  recipient of the National Award from the Lalit Kala Akademi in 1957, 1963, 1973 and 1984 and National Award for Design in 1976. He has also won a silver medal from the Bombay Art Society in 1960. In 1994 he was awarded the Emeritus Fellowship from The Govt. of India.