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Indian Art, Craft and Photography
Madhav Satwalekar and his blue line


Madhav Satwalekar and his blue line

I had seen images of Mr. Madhav Satwalekar's paintings but had never met him. I knew that he had an impressive academic background and career (won the Mayo medal at J J School of Art and went to study art in Europe including Slade School of Fine Art) and that the great scholar Pandit Satwalekar was his father.

I decided to invite him for an exhibition. Many artists discouraged me stating that it will not be easy to persuade him and in all likelihood he will turn down the invitation. I fixed up an appointment with him and went to see him at his home at Kalanagar, Bandra, Mumbai. After hearing me out, he readily accepted my proposal and we developed a bond which was to last till he passed away.

The exhibition at Pune which Indiaart Gallery had organised was a big success on all counts. All artists respected Mr. Madhav Satwalekar not only because he was an eminent artist with an impeccable track record and an illustrious pedigree but also because while serving as the director of art education for state of Maharashtra, he had carried out much needed reforms in art education. Apart from the exhibition, an open interview with Madhav Satwalekar was organised on the sidelines of the show and this event was heavily attended.

I continued to interact with him over the years and found him to be a very warm and affectionate person below the veneer of the aloofness that he was known for. His wife Mrs. Kusum Satwalekar was exceptionally warm in every interaction that I have had with her. Whenever I visited them at their Bandra home, she made it a point to remember and offer my favourite biscuit with tea.

The flash floods in Mumbai inflicted heavy damage on his studio which was on the ground floor of his residence at Kalanagar. Several paintings were damaged. This was a huge loss and a deep shock which was difficult to recover from.