Francis Newton Souza was born in India in 1924 and is of Goan Christian origin. As one of the co-founders of the Progressive Artists' Group in 1947, along with M. F. Husain, Raza, Ara and others, Souza led the edge of the Indian modernist art movement. He is widely recognised as a leading modernist and was the only Indian artist to be included in Tate Modern's group exhibition on 20th Century Modernism in 2002.
His repertoire of subjects covers still life, landscape, nudes and icons of Christianity, rendered boldly in a frenzied distortion of form. A recurrent theme in his work is the sexual tensions and friction within the male and female relationship and their ensuing conflicts. In drawings, Souza uses line with economy but captures fine detail in his forms; or uses a profusion of crosshatched strokes that make up the overall structure of his subject.
In 1942, Souza was expelled from the Sir. J. J. School of Art for partaking in the 'Quit India' movement. He left for London in 1949, making his mark on the European art scene and rose to fame with his 1955 one-man show at Gallery One, London.
1960 : Italian Government Scholarship, study tour of Italy
- 1940, 1945 : Diploma in Painting, Sir J. J. School of Art, Mumbai
He is honoured by several awards, prizes and scholarship to name few
- 1967 : Guggenheim International Award, New York
- 1960 : Italian Government Scholarship (through the British Council)
- 1957 : John Moores Prize, Liverpool