Tate   Bhupen Khakhar

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Khakhar: Man in Pub (custom print)
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          Artwork details

          Man in Pub, 1979, 1979
          Bhupen Khakhar
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          Oil on canvas. 122 x 122 cm. Purchased with the funds provided by the South Asia Acquisitions Committee 2015. Tariq Ali © Estate of Bhupen Khakhar

          Khakhar visited the United Kingdom in 1979 as artist-in-residence at Bath Academy of Art, staying with the artist Howard Hodgkin. This painting, of a man drinking in a pub – and at home and work – is strikingly solitary and reflects one of Khakhar’s central concerns as an artist: portraying normal people in their environment with honesty and compassion.

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          Artist details

          A key figure in 20th century painting, Bhupen Khakhar’s pictures depict the world with unflinching honesty and deep humanity. Born in Bombay in 1934, he worked as an accountant by day and painted in his spare time. His portraits of hairdressers, shopkeepers and accountants challenged the art establishment, recasting the ordinary lives of normal lower-middle class Indians into grand, vibrantly coloured compositions. His later works confronted issues of sexuality and identity. These uncompromising and provocative works were often autobiographical, a means through which he addressed his own homosexuality with rare sensitivity and wit.

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