The Government Servants Society: Sketches from the edge
The core of the exhibition consists of twenty-nine drawings and watercolours, dating from 1973. This is the first time that they have ever been exhibited. They are a part of a sketchbook bearing the title of Bhupen Khakhar’s residence at the time, ‘Government Servants Society’.
Bhupen, the consummate artist, was always armed with his sketchbook, ready to be deployed as the mood took him. In some cases the works have been taken to completion, in other places the imagery is more fragmentary. Bhupen would often incorporate elements of multiple drawings in a later painting, and this may well be true in the case of these sketches.
It is thirteen years since the death of Bhupen Khakhar. In India, where he lived and worked, he is an established figure of the artistic cannon. Respected and adored by critics of his time, Khakhar’s art still invokes a reverence accorded to few others.
The artist has been accorded a major solo exhibition of his work that is ongoing at Tate Modern, London.