Natvar Bhavsar


Natvar Bhavsar Biography

B. 1934 -


Natvar Bhavsar is one of the most prominent color field artists working today. An influential member of the New York school of colorists, he is recognized by critics and art historians as having extended the language of abstract painting. Bhavsar's works appear in more than 800 private and public collections around the world. Often known for paintings that "swallow" entire walls, the purpose of his large-scale art is to absorb viewers. He creates these paintings by sifting pure powdered pigments onto a clear acrylic ground, using air currents and layering of complex forms and turbid micropatterns.

Natvar Bhavsar was born in the Western state of Gujarat, India in 1934 and his interest in art began at a very young age. As a child, he was exposed to the vibrant colors of his grandparents' fabric-printing business, the medium of rangoli (traditional decorative folk art of India) and the Indian Holi festival (a religious spring festival, also known as Festival of Colors). These influences made a major impact on the way Bhavsar understood color, and served as inspiration for it being at the forefront of his work. He started his fine arts studies at the C.N. School of Art in Ahmedabad and attained prominence as an artist in India by age 19, working primarily in the Cubist style. However, in 1962, Bhavsar left India to continue studying art in the United States at the University of Pennsylvania. At that time, his work became abstract and in 1963, he had his first American sold out show.

He received the prestigious John D. Rockefeller Grant in 1965, and later, the Guggenheim Fellowship. These early accomplishments fully established his presence on the New York art scene in the mid-60s, the time when artists such as Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Ray Parker, Jules Olitski, Ken Noland and Morris Louis were prominent in American art culture.

Natvar Bhavsar's works can be found in such distinguished collections as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Boston Museum of Fine Art, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, The Library of Congress, and the Australian National Gallery. His works are also in corporate collections of the American Express Company, AT & T, Chase Manhattan Bank, and NBC.