Parekh, a modernist of the third generation, was born in Ahmedabad in 1939 in Gujrat. His
initiation in the art of drawing and painting was under Mukund Shroff After he got the
Diploma in Drawing and Painting from Sir J. J. School of art, Bombay, in 1962, Manu
started as a stage actor in Bombay and designed stage-sets in Ahmedabad. From the world of
theatre he entered a different field when he joined the Weavers' Service Centre, Bombay,
in 1963 as Art Designer. After two years he moved to Calcutta and lived and worked there
till 1974, when he was appointed a Design Consultant by the Hancheraft and Handlooin
Export Corporation of India, New Delhi. Since then Manu has been working and living in New
Iffis early umining and his long stay in Calcutta and lively in~on with
his artist friends in the city, and earlier close contacts with the art world in
Bombay, inspired and urged him to express his responses to his life and times in
paintings. Fhs busy life as a designer ran parallel to his continued experiments in
painterly pursuits. Since the time he left the Export Corporation he has been
working as a freelance artist.
Efis paintings have always had a concern for man's social being,
although he had been deeply influenced by the S~sts in the beginning. His paintings of the
seventies were marked by a gloom and sinister apprehensions, which changed over the years
to a long series ofpaintings with rather oppressive sexual symbolism. His later paintings
focus on man's degraded and brutalised existence.
Manu participated in the Third and Fourth Triennale-India (1975, '78),
and between 1975 and 1994 he attended eight artists' camps in India and abroad. from 1967
to 1992 he had 20 solo shows and 30 group shows, national and international,
including'Modern Indian Painting', National Gallery of Modern Art (1982), Hirschhom Muse^
Was~n D.C., Siffithsonian Institution (1982), 'Seven Indian Artists' travelling exhibition
in several cities in West Germany. His works were presented at the auctions of Sotheby's,
Bombay (1989) andasprey (U.K.) in 1991 organised by the Helpage India.
As an art designer and consultant for Indian handicrafts he travelled in
France, Italy, Belgium, Holland and Gemiany in 1976, and took an exhibition of Indian
handierafts to Mongolia and went on a cultural tour in the USSR in 1980. In 1982 he
attended an artists' workshop with seven Gennan artists in Braunsweig in 1982, and toured
Italy, and visited London in the same year as a participant in the exhibition of
Contemporary Indian Art, Festival of India, in 1982. He was the Commissioner for the
Exhibition ofmadhubam Painting in Italy, and in Dmmark,
and visited Stockholm as the Commissioner for the exhibition of
Contemporary Indian Painting, Festival of India, in 1987. He won President of India's
Silver Plaque and cash award for best painting of the year ftom the All India Fine Arts
and Crafts Society, New Delhi (1972), Birla Academy's cash award (1 97 1), another award
from the AIIFACS, New Delhi (1 974), National Award from the Lalit Kala Akadenii, New
Delhi (1 982), and Padma Shri from the Government of India (1991).
He is the member of the Society of Contemporary Artists, Calcutta,
General Council of the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi and Garhi Working Committee, Lalit
KalaAkaderni, New Delhi. His works are in the collections of the National Gallery of Modem
Art, Ne .w Delhi, Lalit Kala Akademi,
New Delhi, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bombay, Punjab
University Museum, Chandigarh, Biria Academy of Art and Culture, Calcutta and in many
private collections in India and abroad.
Oil on canvas
36" x 48"
Mixed media on paper
30" x 40"
Oil on canvas
48" x 72"