Prafulla Dahanukar

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Prafulla Dahanukar (1 January 1934 – 1 March 2014) was an Indian painter.[1][2] She was born in Goa and raised in Mumbai. She completed 50 years of her career as a painter in 2007.[3]

Prafulla Dahanukar, the Artist


Prafulla studied fine art at the Sir J.J. School of Art in Mumbai and graduated with a Gold Medal in 1955.[4] The Government of France awarded her a scholarship to study fine art in Paris in 1961. She returned to India after successful completion of her course.


Soon after her graduation in 1955 Prafulla won a Silver Medal for her painting in the Annual Exhibition of the Bombay Art Society. She then began have solo exhibitions regularly from 1956. On her completion of fifty years of her career as a painter, she was honoured by the Jehangir Art Gallery by sponsoring the Retrospective show of her painting through the five decades. While in Paris she held an exhibition of her paintings in 1961 and has since then participated in many international exhibitions in England, Hungary, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, Japan, Portugal, Iceland and France. She has exhibited solo 3 times in London, the first of which was sponsored by the High Commission of India in 1978. Citibank sponsored her show in 2006 in Ardean Gallery in Cork Street, London. In India she has had several individual shows in Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta, and Chennai. Barclays Bank recently in November 2008 sponsored her exhibition in Dubai which was opened by the famous painter M.F. Husain.

Auction offerings and Collections[edit]

Prafulla's paintings have been offered on Sotheby's and Osean art auctions. Her paintings are in the collections of the National Gallery of Modern Art and Lalit Kala Academy in New Delhi, the Central Museum in Nagpur, the Prince of Wales Museum in Mumbai, and many institutional and private collections in India and overseas.

Prafulla's Mural on Marble Facade


Prafulla used her artistic talent in creating murals in ceramic, wood and glass. These murals adorn many prominent buildings in Mumbai, Pilani, Kolkata and Muscat (Oman).


Prafulla has served the cause of art and painting for all her life. She was a committee member of the Lalit Kala Academy in New Delhi from 1974 to 1979, and the President of Bombay Art Society for 6 years from 1993 to 1998. At present in Feb 2010 she continues to be the trustee of the Jehangir Art Gallery (for last 40 years) and committee member of Kala Academy, Goa (last for 30 years). She is currently the President of the Art Society of India and the Chairperson of The Artists' Centre, Mumbai.


"She is one of the greatest of the art world. The moment you set eyes on her, you know instantly she is an artist. Tall, imposing, angular, she exudes a charm and vivacity that can sweep you off," describes Sheila Murdeshwar in the Nov. 2008 issue of the Dignity Dialogue [5]

Other Engagements[edit]

"Eternal Space"

Prafulla has keen interest in music. She was one of the founder members of Sangit Kala Kendra with late Shri Aditya Birla, its President for 3 years and has continued to work on its committee for the last 30 years. She is the committee member of the Music Forum. She is on the Board of Trustees of the Indian National Theatre for the last 4 years. Besides the work for the artists, she is involved as the main trustee for last 30 years of an orphanage called Bal Anandgram in Lonavala. She has two grandsons and a granddaughter, who are currently residing in New York, one of which is named Anam Mehta.

Current Paintings[edit]

Prafulla paints abstract landscapes in generally one vivid and dominant color. She has mastery of colors and you will see myriad shades and subtlety in her paintings. She calls her paintings "Eternal Space" as she believes that space is unending and it cannot be destroyed. She paints peace through space.

Prafulla Dahanukar Art Foundation[edit]

The Prafulla Dahanukar Art Foundation (PDAF) has been started in memory of Prafulla Dahanukar and aims to evolve into an independent entity by the artists, for the artists. The foundation is working to create a network and community of artists, so that new, young artists get visibility and patronage for their art, and senior artists can guide them through their initial years of struggle.

In 2014, the PDAF has launched a new initiative, the Emerging Artist Reward Scheme, which is a contest for artists registered with the PDAF. Through this, PDAF will give out Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards to artists at the state level and at the all-India level, across six different categories of art i.e.; Painting, Sculpture, Ceramics, Printmaking, Installation and Photography. The overall winners of the contest will win a sponsored solo show at a leading art gallery in Mumbai.


External links[edit]