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KH Ara: One Who Found Solace In Painting

KH Ara: One Who Found Solace In Painting


KH Ara was the first contemporary painter who used the female nude as a subject for his paintings.

 1. KH Ara was born in Bolarum, Secunderabad, on 16th April 1914. His father was a chauffeur by profession. His mother passed away when he was three, due to which his father remarried.

KH Ara

2. He ran away to Bombay when he was seven, where he resided till his death. He used to clean cars initially to earn a living. After some time, he was employed as a houseboy by an English family

KH Ara

via dhoomimal

3. KH Ara had a passion for painting, soon caught the eyes of Rudy Von Leyden, art critic for the Times of India, and later, Walter Langhammer, the editor of the Illustrated Weekly of India. Walter Langhammer got so impressed by Ara’s skill that he enrolled him in JJ School of Art.

4. Ara participated in the Salt Satyagraha and Civil Disobedience Movement and also got jailed for five months. Later, on India’s independence, he created a large canvas depicting an Independence Day procession of a mass of Indian people in exuberant celebrations.

Painting By KH Ara

via artsy

5. KH Ara hosted his first solo show at the Chetna restaurant in Bombay in 1942. He became one of the founding members of the Progressive Artists’ Group with MF Husain, HA Gade, SH Raza, FN Souza and Sadanand Bakre.

6. Ara is best known for his still life and nude paintings. He initially started with doing landscapes and socio-historical themes.

Ara's nude painting

via dhoomimal

7. KH Ara was the first contemporary Indian painter to focus on the female nude as a subject while staying within the limits of realism.

8. Ara’s paintings were criticized for being poorly executed and lacking reference from real life by some of his critics.

9. Ara was an asexual and remained a bachelor till his death in 1985, according to his daughter Ruxana Pathan.

According to some people, KH Ara led a lonely life, which was visible in his work. That’s the reason we said that the man found solace in his painting.

Blog Edited By Ritika Gupta

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