Yusuf Arakkal

Profile  |  Artworks  |  Exhibitions  |  Network  |  Reviews  |  Comments
Oil On Canvas
artmobile © Yusuf Arakkal
Energy, a mural in steel and granite created for the J. N. Research Centre, Bangalore Mural 20' X 20' © Yusuf Arakkal
In Conversation, 1985 Granite 5' Ht. © collection of the Welcome Group of Hotels
Framed Faces, 1992 Pinewood 2'3" © Yusuf Arakkal
In Despair, 1997 Bronze 18 Inches © Yusuf Arakkal
Chair , 2001 Copper © Yusuf Arakkal
Figurative, 2004 Oil On Canvas 5' X 5' © Yusuf Arakkal
Conflict's Children, 2003 Oil On Canvas 54" X 38" © Yusuf Arakkal
Still Life , 2004 Oil On Canvas 2' X 2' © Yusuf Arakkal
Paper Reader , 2004 Oil On Canvas 4' X 4' © Yusuf Arakkal
Figurative, 2004 Granite 5' X 5' © Yusuf Arakkal
© Courtesy of the artist & Gallerie Alternatives
© Courtesy of the artist & Gallerie Alternatives
Broken Pots Oil On Canvas 36" X 36" Inches © Courtesy of the artist & The Mahua Art Gallery
Quick Facts
Birth year
Lives in
Works in

Born in Kerala, India in the year 1945, the young Arakkal lost both his parents as a child. Literally to the manor born, his early life had every conceiveable comfort with the exclusion of parental love. Possesed by a burning desire to be an artist, he enrolled at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat, Bangalore, just to get a formal education although he was already a good artist. His early years of struggle to establish himself, his sensitivity to the social environment, the loss of human dignity in the face of harsh reality and a longing for peace have led him to say, "There is an anguished being, disturbed and in distress somewhere deep inside me. A human being who yearns for a meaningful existence. It is the human presence that arouses my attention and stirs my creative inner space. I have been committed through my work, seeking a definition of human situations."





Born in Kerala

1973 Diploma in Painting from Chitrakala Parishat College of Art, Bangalore

Specialization in graphic print making from the National Academy Community Studios, Garhi, Delhi

Solo Shows in India
Since 1967

Over 40 shows at Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Trivandrum, Calicut, Cochin, Trichur, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi. Works exhibited include mediums like Oils, Watercolours, Graphics, Collage and Sculptures - in Bronze, Terracotta, Wood, Granite, Steel, Paper, Fibreglass, etc.

Group Shows in India
Since 1969

Most major juried shows, State and All India level shows, National Exhibitions and Exhibitions organized by private galleries and other groups.

Solo Shows Abroad
1992 Relays De Monts-Siux, Limousin, France
1993 Gallerie Taormina Del Arte-Le Havre, France
1994 Srijana Contemporary Art Gallery - Kathmandu, Nepal
1994 Art Forum Gallery, Singapore
1996 Wallace Gallery, Chelsea, New York
1996 Air Gallery, Dower Street, London
1998 A Gallery, 521, W 23 R O Street, New York
1998 The Discerning Eye Gallery, H.K. Museum of Art, Visual Art Centre, Hong Kong
2001 At the Emirate Towers, Dubai, UAE
2002 Nehru Centre, London
2007 "In a Figurative Identity" - Galerie Sara Arakkal, Bangalore & Easel Art Gallery, Singapore
2007 "The Street"- Art Alive Gallery, Delhi & Aicon Gallery, Palo Alto, California

"The Age of Innocence" - Galerie Sara Arakkal, Bangalore & SA fine Arts - at The Galleria, 5B Pall Mall, London.

International Shows
1971 Indian Artists at Belorussia and Moscow
1985 Thirty Contemporary Indian Artists at Havana, Cuba
1985 Contemporary Indian Art show at the National Museum, Mexico City, Mexico
1985 Second Asian Art Show, Fukoka, Japan
1985 Indian Printmaking, Festival of India, USA
1986 Sixth Biennale de beaux Art, Beaumont, France
1986 Third Asian Art Biennale, Dhaka, Bangladesh
1986 Inaugural Exhibition of the National Museum of Modern art, Seoul, Korea
1986 Sixth International Triennale, New Delhi, India
1987 Ninth International Biennale de sao Paulo, Brazil
1993 Nine Indian Artists CCA Gallery, New York
1994 Indian Printmaking Show, Maltwood Art Museum & Gallery Victoria, British Columbia
1994 Indian Contemporary Art Show, Gallery Maya, Hong Kong
1995 Heads and Faces - An Exhibition by Gallery Maya, Visual Art Centre, Hong Kong
1995 "Save the Children" - An auction by Sothebys, Bombay
1996 Indian Contemporary Art Show, Nagai Garo, Tokyo, Japan
1996 32 Contemporary Indian Artists - Exhibition and Auction by Christies, London
1996 Women in Indian Art, The Gallery, Visual Art Centre, Hong Kong
1997 Auction of Indian Contemporary Art by Christies, London
1998 Spirit and Soul - The Rotunda Exchange Square, Hong Kong
1998 Bayer - RPG show, Munich, Germany
1999 Universal Declaration of Human Rights - International Print Portfolio Exhibition, Durban, South Africa.
2000 The Eternal Embrace- a Tribute to Unversal Motherhood - Dubai, UAE
2000 UDHR Exhibition at the United Nations in Geneva (U.N.O.G)
2000 Contemporary Woman, Modern Indian Artist, Visual Art Center, Hong Kong.
2000 Participation in the UDHR International AIDS Portfolio in South Africa
2000 Participation in Artists International Direct Support, International AIDS Portfolio Project, Canada
2001 Cairo International Biennale
2001 Best of Indian Art - a show of Indian Artists, Singapore
2003 4th Florence International Biennale of Contemporary Art, Italy.
2005 Indian International Triennale, New Delhi.
2005 Inaugural show of Arad International Biennale
2005 Participated in Sotheby's art auction at New York
2005 5th Florence International Biennale of Contemporary Art - Italy.
2006 Tatva, The Elements - Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
2007 India 25, at the Zurab Tsereteli Art Gallery, museum exhibition complex of Russian Academy - Moscow.
2009 Satyagraha, Homage to Mahatma Gandhi, Johannesburg - South Africa and Madrid - Spain

An exhibition of five International artists, curated by Galleria Tondinelli, Quattro Fontane, Rome - Italy

International Artist Camps
2005 Participated in international artist camps in Thailand, Russia and Turkey.

Tatva, The Elements - Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Awards and Recognition

Several awards since 1970 for paintings, sculptures, graphics, portraits and drawings that include:
1979 The Karnataka Lalitkala Academy Award
1981 The Karnataka Lalitkala Academy Award
1983 The National Award
1986 Special Award - Third Asian Art Biennale, Dhaka, Bangladesh
1986 Karnataka Lalitkala Academy Honour
1999 Karnataka Rajyotsava Award
2003 Florence International Biennale - Silver Medal
2005 Arad City Award at Arad International Biennale, 2005, Romania.
2005 Varnashilpi Venkatappa Award - The highest award given by the Government of Karnataka for art.
2005 Florence International Biennale - Gold Medal

Kerala Lalithakala Akademi - Fellowship

1984 National Academy of Art as an Eminent Artist
1987 Indian Commissioner for the 19th Sao Paulo International Biennale
1988 To the Karnataka Lalitkala Academy
1992 To the Kerala Lalithkala Academy (could not accept)
1999 The National Academy of Art as an Eminent Artist (could not accept)
2002 As jury of "Kalidas Samman" for Art
2004 Member of International Artistic Committee for Arad International Biennale, Romania
2005 One of the fifteen International Committee members of Arad International Biennale, Romania.
2007 International Artistic committee member - Contemporary Art Biennale of Adana, Turkey.

The Fellowship of the Kerala Lalitkala Academy.


Several Individual and Institutional collections in India, United States, United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, UAE, Mexico, Brazil, Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, Nepal, Canada, Iran, Pakistan, Kenya, Kuwait, South Africa, Italy, Thailand, Malaysia and Romania.

Sharing the space with works of Van Gogh and Manet at Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York.The work titled "HOPE" has participated in a charity initiative called "Art for Humanity" in Durban (South Africa). At present the work "HOPE" is in MoMA's collection 2010.

1986 Created the first contemporary mural in granite in India for the corporate complex of Brooke Bond at Bangalore.
1988 Large mural in metal for the headquarters of Hindustan Aeronautics
1989 Large terracotta mural for the Central Silk Board Complex
1992 Large outdoor granite mural for the satellite centre of the Indian Space Organization
1995 Steel and Granite Mural created for the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Research at Bangalore.
1998 Large indoor mural for GE-BEL, Bangalore
2002 10 ft. stainless steel sculpture for Essenco Corporate Office, Bangalore
2003 21ft stainless steel sculpture at M.G Road, Bangalore
2004 "Genomic Inspiration" at Biocon Campus, Hebbagodi, Bangalore
2005 10 x 18 ft - Assorted Stainless steel and Copper Base Wall Mural at Syngene International, Biocon Park, Bangalore.
2006 40 Feet Stainless Steel and copper Hanging installation for BBPL (Biocon Biopharmaceuticals Pvt. Ltd).

30ft x 18ft mural in copper brass and stainless steel for Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Center


Extensively travelled and worked in the US, France, Britain, Germany, Brazil, Italy, Switzerland, Netherlands, Greece, Egypt, Iran, Hong Kong, UAE, Thailand , Singapore, Israel, Turkey and Russia.


Television appearances and interviews on CNN, BBC, Star Plus, CNBC, NDTV 24/7, TMG and many Indian language channels. Works were auctioned by Christies, Sotheby's, Bonhams, Asprey of London, Larasati etc. from 1988 onwards.


Published numerous articles on art in many major English newspapers and periodicals. Writes poetry in English.


  • "In search of my roots" a book of paintings and drawings and experience of travelling in Kerala, published by Penguin.
  • "Bean town boom town", published by Rupa.
  • "Kerala, Kerala, Quite Contrary", published by Rupa.


  • "Arakkal Paints a Picture" a photographic book by Nimai Ghosh.
  • "Yusuf Arakkal - In Solitude" by Giridhar Khasnis, P Surendran and P Sudhakaran. Published by Galerie Sara Arakkal, Bangalore.
  • "Faces of Indian Art" Published by Art Alive Gallery. New Delhi.
  • "Indian Contemporary Art - Post Independence" Published by Vadhera Art Gallery, New Delhi.
  • "Dictionary of Indian Art and Artists" Published by Mapin.
  • "Southern Axis - a selection of contemporary art of South India" Published by Mukti.
  • "India 25 - 25 Indian Artists" written by Nicholas Bourriad - Publishers RaviKumar, Paris.
  • "Major trends in Indian Art" Published By Lalithkala Academy, New Delhi.
Is this your profile?
Claim it!
ArtSlant has shutdown. The website is currently running in a view-only mode to allow archiving of the content.

The website will be permanently closed shortly, so please retrieve any content you wish to save.