Akbar Padamsee (b. 1928) was one of the early pioneer painters of the 1940’s to forge a new modernist style in India art. He passed out of the Sir J.J. School of Art, Bombay. Contemporary of other young radicals, he along with his other young artist friends like M.F. Husain, F.N. Souza, Tyeb Mehta, V.S.Gaitonde went on to claim that they “invented modernism” for Indian art. By this they meant rejecting India’s past traditions and looking to the Paris School for inspiration. In his search for modernism, Akbar left for Paris in 1951 and lived and worked there till 1967. Akbar, whether in his figurative works or in his abstract ‘Metascapes’, could be described as being both cerebral as well as sensual. While on one hand Akbar deeply probes the existential aspects of the “modern personality” with all its elements of stress, alienation and solitude – on the other hand, in his treatment of the human form, and in his handling of paint, one notices elements of great sensuality. It is these conflicting elements of both pain and tenderness which makes his paintings visually pleasing and intellectually provocative.