Details
LAXMAN PAI (B. 1926)
Goan Village
signed and dated 'Laxman Pai Paris - 1952' and signed in Hindi (lower right); further signed, dated and titled '"GOAN VILLAGE" (Paris 1952) by LAXMAN PAI IV Goan Village KLR -DM.' 58 x 47 Goa Village' and bearing labels 'Fine Arts Collection, University of Cincinnati, Ohio' and 'Julius Fleischmann Collection' (on the reverse)
gouache on paper
24 x 18 7/8 in. (61 x 47.9 cm.)
Executed in 1952
Provenance
Fine Arts Collection, University of Cincinnati, Ohio
Julius Fleischmann Collection, Ohio
Literature
R. Kanode, Pai in Paris, New Delhi, 2006 (illustrated, unpaginated)
Exhibited
Bombay, Alliance Francaise, Laxman Pai, 1954
Paris, Galerie Raymond Duncan, Laxman Pai, 1952

Lot Essay

Born in Goa, Laxman Pai spent his youth longing for the creative freedom he believed existed only outside his homeland, to eventually find his artistic voice within the Goan landscape of his youth. In 1951, with his friend and fellow artist, Sadanand Bakre, the young and rebellious Laxman Pai set sail for Paris. On arrival they met up with Francis Newton Souza, Akbar Padamsee and Syed Haider Raza who were already part of the Parisian art scene.

Pai immediately enrolled at the École Nationale Supérieure Des Beaux-arts where he studied painting and drawing and experimented with new printing techniques. Soon, the delicate and realistic landscapes of Pai's academic days at the Sir J. J. School of Art were transformed into vibrant, playful compositions that depicted the everyday life of rural Goa, as we see here in Goan Village.

"From his new location in Paris, Pai obsessively painted Goa, yearning for his native land and people, evolving techniques that simultaneously straddled both the grounds of tradition and modernity. "For Pai painting becomes the window to fly to another world - from Paris to the magical Goan landscape - its temples and churches, paddy fields, the beaches, the native tribes of fisherman and goan kunbes. Goa for Pai meant the endless rhythm of the sea, the aspiring palm trees and the daily life of the local communities, their colourful costumes and ornaments. [...] Schematic, spontaneous, child-like, naive, excessive, Pai's mythical enchantment with his homeland spilled over in portable works that shunted between India and Paris and other places where Pai presented his art..." (Roobina Karode, Pai in Paris, Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi, 2006, unpaginated)

During his ten years in Paris, Pai held nine solo exhibitions and further showcased his works in London, Munich, Hanover, Stuttgart and New York.
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