1960 Red Sun, oil paint on board Collection of Jane and Kito de Boer © The estate of F.N. Souza/DACS, London 2018

A Closer Look…F.N. Souza

In this post, I’m taking a closer look at the work of artist F.N. Souza from an exhibition called ‘All Too Human’ held at Tate Britain from the 28th of February to the 27th of August 2018. The show brought a wide range of artists together who mainly focus on painting people but also on depicting interiors, landscapes and the surroundings that they live in. The exhibition included artwork by artists like Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Jenny Saville and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, but it is the work of F.N. Souza that really grabbed me.

 

1959 Crucifixition, oil paint on board 1831 x 1220 mm The Tate Collection, London UK © The estate of F.N. Souza/DACS, London 2018

1959 Crucifixition, oil paint on board 1831 x 1220 mm The Tate Collection, London UK © The estate of F.N. Souza/DACS, London 2018

 

Souza’s artworks are bold, direct and graphic. They are not quiet – they shout out and grab our attention. The artworks on show included several portraits and landscapes. The figures are usually flattened into spiky shapes with bold outlines. Facial features become simplified and stylized and colours are heightened with strong contrasts and deep tones. The surface of the pictures look gnarled with dragged or thickly layered paint. They are vibrant, borderline aggressive and monstrous, but they also capture moments of deep sadness and tenderness.

 

1960 Nude Holding Breasts, oil paint on board Private collection © The estate of F.N. Souza/DACS, London 2018

1960 Nude Holding Breasts, oil paint on board Private collection © The estate of F.N. Souza

 

Francis Newton Souza, also known as F.N Souza, was born in the village of Saligao in Goa, India in 1924. Souza was brought up in a conservative environment with strict Catholic parents but this did not stop his creative development. His artistic talent was often an outlet for rebellion. He was expelled from a college in Mumbai for drawing graffiti in a toilet and later for supporting the Quit India Movement – a social and political movement launched by Mahatma Ghandhi aiming to stop the British rule of India.

In 1947, the same year of India’s independence, Souza became a founding member of the Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group. The group encouraged artists to explore Indian, European and North American art history and for artists to exhibit in internationally. Souza moved to London in 1949 and then to New York in 1967 to pursue his artistic career. He passed away in 2002.

 

1960 Red Sun, oil paint on board Collection of Jane and Kito de Boer © The estate of F.N. Souza/DACS, London 2018

1960 Red Sun, oil paint on board Collection of Jane and Kito de Boer © The estate of F.N. Souza

 

1957 Negro In Mourning, oil paint on hardboard Birmingham City Council Collection © The estate of F.N. Souza/DACS, London 2018

1957 Negro In Mourning, oil paint on hardboard Birmingham City Council Collection © The estate of F.N. Souza/DACS, London 2018

 

1961 Black Nude, oil paint on canvas Victoria and Albert Museum Collection © The estate of F.N. Souza/DACS, London 2018

1961 Black Nude, oil paint on canvas Victoria and Albert Museum Collection © The estate of F.N. Souza/DACS, London 2018

 

To find out more about the artist please follow the links below.

https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/f-n-souza-1972

https://www.grosvenorgallery.com/artists/28-francis-newton-souza/overview/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Newton_Souza

http://www.fnsouza.com/

 

This entry was published on August 30, 2018 at 1:35 am. It’s filed under Artists and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “A Closer Look…F.N. Souza

  1. Thanks for following my posts.
    I like the Red Sun painting. You have an interesting site.

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