Prabhakar Kolte’s Language of Colors

In conjunction with the current exhibition Prabhakar Kolte: “Deconstruction” at Gallery 7 in  Mumbai, Shradha Ramesh explores the artist’s visual language

New York: “It is what it is” is how Prabhakar Kolte (b. 1946) describes his art. A former student and teacher of Sir J.J School of Art, Mumbai, he has inspired and groomed many students with his modernist thinking. An abstract artist, he focuses on creation more than the commercial aspect of art.

Prabhakar Kolte, Untitled

Prabhakar Kolte, Untitled. Image Credit:

With paint dripping and blotches of colour dominating the canvas, Prabhakar Kolte creates a new visual language. His works are free from the mundane routines of life and embrace childlike playfulness through colour. For Kolte, art is a spiritual journey of creation, it is the interplay of colour and material infinity that drives his painting. Colour is seen in it’s joyous presence indemnifying the regular and formal thinking of seeing forms. Nature, the protagonist of his oeuvre, reflects the Swiss artist and teacher Paul Klee’s influence. Kolte notes, quoting his role model’s mantra: “Think of forming not forms.”

Prabhakar Kolte, Untitled

Prabhakar Kolte, Untitled. Image Credit:

Kolte explains the implied and gradual process of his creation, saying “Behind each painting lies six-seven paintings, hidden. I go on until satisfied. I do not think in terms of words, I start thinking in terms of color and form. The subject is the process itself. I have realised that nature is so vast and infinite, and outside I cannot reach this nature, but at least inside me I have access.”

Prabhakar Kolte, Untitled

Prabhakar Kolte, Untitled. Image Credit:

A forthright and expressive artist, his artworks are visual diaspora of his subjective view towards society and life. With philosophical and multidimensional perception to his artwork, Prabhakar Kolte believes that a painting is matter of seeing nature and not imitating, he doesn’t see nature as is but as colour forms. One seems to dwell deeper with each layer of colour on the canvas only to encounter occasional space of underlying pattern of colours being unearthed.

Prabhakar Kolte, Untitled

Prabhakar Kolte, Untitled. Image Credit:

Prabhakar Kolte says “The space I want to create is just not a dimension… it is very subtle experience of mind that is space for me,” his paintings are transformative creation of object, the translation of sensation from an existing object to abstract colour field on his canvas.  A story is interwoven with color and spatial interjection that traverses through his canvas as a geometric shapes or fossil like imprint or windows left ajar. He reinvented himself at varied stages, once under the guidance of his professor S.B. Palsikar and later on under the influence of his students at Sir J.J School, his canvases and installations mirror these experiences and learning processes.

Prabhakar Kolte, Untitled

Prabhakar Kolte, Untitled. Image Credit:

This exhibition will be on view until September 30 at Gallery 7 in Mumbai. For more information click here.

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