Style : Yusuf Arakkal’s early paintings were studies in abstract of the lives of the city dwellers. He used a profusion of bright colours to depict their situation. Later, his growing concern with social issues began to be reflected in his paintings. Arakkal, through his art, depicts the everyday life of the dispossessed, in urban areas – their poverty, helplessness, dismal living conditions and their stoicism in the face of tragedy.
In keeping with his partiality for somber shades, Arakkal employs earthy shades with an occasional dab of yellow or crimson. He concentrates on the texture of his canvases and gives them a grainy, rough surface, reminiscent of timeworn, peeling, cracked walls. Several of Arakkal’s canvases focus on a solitary human in various poses.
About the Artist & his work :
Born : Yusuf Arakkal (1945 – 2016) was born in Kerala.
Education & Art Career : Both his parents died when he was young. Leaving the comforts of his house behind, he left for Bangalore, lonely but with a passion to become a painter. The hardships that he faced at Bangalore honed the artist in him and sharpened his sensibility. He took a diploma in painting from Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat (KCP), Bangalore and later specialized in graphic print making from National Academy community studios, Garhi, Delhi.
Solo International Show :
1992 – Relays De Monts – Siux, Limousin, France.
1993 – Gallerie Taormina Del Arte – Le Hwre, France.
1994 – Srijana Contemporary Art Gallery – Kathmandu, Nepal & Art Forum Gallery, Singapore.
1996 – Wallace Gallery, Chelsea, New York & Air Gallery, Dower Street, London.
Group International Shows :
1985 – Thirty contemporary Indian Artists at Habana, Cuba ; Contemporary Indian Art show at the National Museum Mexico City, Mexico ; Second Asian Art show, Fukuoka, Japan & Indian Printmaking, Festival of India, USA.
1986 – Sixth biennale de beau Art, Beaumount, France ; Third Asian Art Biennale, Dhaka, Bangladesh ; Inaugural exhibition of the National Museum of Modern Art, Seol, Korea.
1994 – Indian printmaking show, Maltwood Art Museum & Gallery Victoria, British Columbia & Indian Contemporary Art Show, Gallery Maya, Hong Kong.
1996 – Indian Contemporary Art show, Nagai Garo, Tokyo, Japan ; 32 Contemporary Indian artists – exhibition and auction by Christies, London & Women in Indian Art, by The Gallery, Visual Art Centre, Hong Kong.
1997 – Auction of Indian Contemporary Art by Christies, London.
2005 : Lorenso-De-Medici Gold medal at at Florence Internazionale Biennale, in Florence, Italy for his work Bacon’s Man with the Child and Priest.
1979 & 81 : Karnataka Lalit Kala Academy Award,
1983 : The Shiromani Kala Puruskar from the Govt. of India,
1986 : Special award of the Third Asian Art Biennale, Dhaka, Bangladesh,
1989 : Karnataka Lalit Kala Academy honor.