Satish Gujral is one of the better known more versatile artists of the Indian subcontinent. He is known for making some of the most exquisite paintings, graphics, murals and sculptures, apart from indulging in architecture and interior designing.
Satish Gujral was born in the year 1925 in the pre-partition West Punjab. At the age of eight, an illness fatally impaired his hearing. In 1939, Satish joined the Mayo School of Art in Lahore to study Applied Arts. In 1944, he moved to Bombay (now Mumbai) and took admission in the Sir J.J. School of Art. During his stay at the college, which lasted from 1944 to 1947, he came into contact with the Progressive Artists Group. However, he found it difficult to agree with their techniques and started looking for a kind of modernism, with its roots in the Indian traditions.
In 1947, a recurring sickness forced Satish Gujral to drop out of J.J. School of Art. He left for Mexico in the year 1952, on a scholarship, for an apprenticeship with Diego Rivera and David Sequeiros. There, his work got heavily influenced by the suffering of the people who lost their homes and families because of the partition of the country. Slowly, Satish started diversifying his sculptural materials with machined industrialized objects in steel, copper, glass, etc and even tried junk sculptures.
Since the late 1980s, the paintings and sculptures of Satish Gujaral have shown a greater expansion, both in terms of materials as well as content. He started making large murals, mostly in mosaic and ceramic tiles. Later, machined steel elements overtook the tiles. Satish Gujral's sculptures in burnt wood come across as visceral exposure of human and other forms. The period of 1952 to 1974 saw Satish Gujral organizing solo shows of his sculptures, paintings and graphics in Mexico, New York, New Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Montreal, Rome, Berlin, Tokyo, Buenos Aires and Stockholm.
Satish Gujral has received the following awards in recognition of his vital contribution in the field of art:
* National Award for Painting (twice)
* National Award for Sculpture
* State Honor from the Government of Punjab
* Order of the Crown, Belgium (for Architecture)
* Padma Vibhushan
* Leonardo Da Vinci Award
* International award for Life Time Achievements (Mexico)