Mohan Samant

  • Born 1924 in Bombay, British India
  • Died 2004 in New York, NY, USA

In his paintings, Mohan Samant linked his native Indian culture with his experience of immigration to New York City, where he lived for almost forty years. In 1952, Samant graduated from the Sir J.J. School of Art—where he studied under Basholi miniature painter S.B. Palsikar (1917–1984)—and joined the Progressive Artists’ Group. He won the gold medal from both the Academy of Fine Arts of Calcutta and the Bombay Art Society in 1956. That year, he also showed in the Eight Painters exhibition curated by patron Thomas Keehn and the 1956 Venice Biennale. Samant began his travels abroad in 1957 and 1958, with a scholarship to Rome and Egypt. From 1959 to 1964 he came to New York on a Rockefeller grant, permanently relocating to the city in 1968. Samant’s process involved making forms with wire and combining them on the canvas, creating primarily abstract works with some narrative elements. He added materials to his paint, such as sand and glue, and experimented with paper and wire collage. He was included in shows of the Progressive Artists’ Group in New York during the early 1960s as well as the important 1963 traveling exhibition Dunn International.

Artworks by Mohan Samant in the exhibition