Pakhal Tirumal Reddy

P T Reddy
Born Pakala Tirumal Reddy
(1915-01-04)4 January 1915
Annaram, Telangana, India
Spouse Yashoda Reddy

Pakhal Tirumal Reddy (1915–1996) (also spelled as Pakala Tirumal Reddy) known as P T Reddy was an Indian artist. Born to Ram Reddy and Ramanamma as a fifth child in 4thJanuary 1915 at Annaram village, Karimnagar district, Telangana, India. He got his diploma in painting from J. J. School of Art, Bombay (1939).He married Yashoda Reddy on 9 May 1947, with the help of P. T. Reddy, she went ahead with her studies and completed M. A. and Ph.D. and she authored over 22 compilations and novels.


P T Reddy was one of the key artists who played a significant role in introducing and the evolution of the so-called "Modern Art" of Europe in India. P T Reddy formed a group of ‘Bombay Contemporary India Artists,’ branded as‘Young Turks’, in 1941. Notably, this group of five painters was formed six years before the famous ‘Progressive Artists' Group’ formed in Bombay in 1947. P T Reddy started with realistic style and at the end of the 1930s, Reddy showed his original style, influenced both by traditional India paintings on one side and Post-Impressionist style on the other. The process of integration continued with various ‘isms’ appearing in his work. He worked with great passion, spending long hours in his studio, creating works in water colour, oils, etchings and sculptures. His body of sculptures remain best works even till date. P T Reddy’s Srichakra engraving on Aventurine stone is probably one of the best hand made spherical engraving Srichakra in the world. Traditional Sri Yantra form: an architectonic square frame housing a series of circular lotus forms, culminating in the centre with the overlapping triangles of the yantra itself. He added to this foundation a Devanagari ‘sri’ in the centre, re-emphasizing both his title and the form of the yantra. Finally, two figures overlay the Sri Yantra, their heads opposite one another at top and bottom, their bodies joined in sexual union in the centre. Reddy arranged their arms in a circular fashion reinforcing the lotus form, but their legs are not symmetrical: the legs of the bottom figure form a ‘V’ with the feet flanking the head of the top figure while the legs of the upper figure bend at the knees and splay outward, echoing the two directions of the triangle of the Sri Yantra. About 1970, P T Reddy began painting Tantric themes from Indian mythology. In P T Reddy's work, we see connections and parallels to a wide range of other neo-Tantric artists, including G. R. Santosh (1929–1997). S.H. Raza(b. 1922, Mahirwan Mamtani (b. 1935) and Biren De (b. 1926), and thus he serves as a good entry point and guide to the works of Indian Artists.


P T Reddy’s paintings from the 1940s were showing struggle to maintain his identity as Indian by choosing subject matters that were undeniably Indian, yet depicted in a variety of modern European styles. After independence in 1947, many Indian artists, including Reddy re-examined India’s own art traditions. His work began growing more abstract and started to reflect Buddhist, Hindu and Tantric symbols and structures. Many of his works, however, are secular, modern abstractions that echo their original religious sources.P T Reddy engages in dialogue with contemporary life and politics, as the moon landing series shows, along with his Nehru series and other works touching on poverty, labor movements, and the social changes wrought by India's Independence in 1947. Because of his use of the neo-Tantric idiom, his explorations of historical concerns such as these become dehistoricized and abstracted. Thus, through P T Reddy's work, that for artists struggling with being both modern and Indian in the 1960s and 1970s, neo-Tantric imagery provided one solution, indicating a path through the abstraction/representation bind and retaining both a universality of form and a specificity of national identity.

Awards and honors

P T Reddy Won Dolly Cursetji award for murals ; Fellowship Govt. of India; 'Asthana chitrakar' of A. P. Govt. and member of General Board of ICCR. He was a prolific painter and sculptor; his works have been exhibited in U.K., U.S.A., USSR, Sweden, Switzerland and Greece; Represented in the collection of Royal Palace, London, N.G.M.A., New Delhi, and many other institutions. P T Reddy's famous books were, Portfolio of Drawings, Paintings and Sculptures in 1941, Contemporary Painters in 1941, 40 Drawings in 1941 and Kiss Volume I in 1968. St.Mary College of Maryland has a remarkable collection of works by P T Reddy in the Boyden Art Gallery.

P T Reddy worked with utmost passion, spending long hours in his studio and creating works in water colour, oils, etchings and sculptures. P T Reddy‘s major work was done during the freedom struggle, and then during the muscle-flexing that occurred while the Indian diaspora was building its own identity. His versatility and genius is reflected in the diverse themes, medium and colors that he used to gloss his art with. P T Reddy produced around 3000 paintings in his lifetime. He died in the year 1996 and is survived by his daughter, Professor Lakshmi Reddy, who is an artist herself. She now runs the Sudharma Art Gallery, left behind by her father Mr.P.T.Reddy, in Hyderabad, along with her husband and her two children.


1941 First group exhb., Contemporary Painters of Bombay, Bombay.

1940 First solo exhb., Bombay Art Society Salon, Bombay.

1943 Solo exhibition, Bombay Art Society Salon, Bombay.

1955 Annual exhibition, Hyderabad.

1956 Solo exhibition, Bombay.

1957 Solo exhibition, All India Industrial Exhb. Grounds, Hyderabad.

1968 1st International Triennale, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi.

1976 Retrospective, Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan and Sudharma Modern Art Gallery, Hyderabad.

1983 Solo exhibition on Tantra, West Germany.

1985-86 Neo Tantra: Contemporary Indian Painting, Fredrick S. Wight Art Gallery, University of California, Los Angeles.

2004 Manifestations II, organised by Delhi Art Gallery, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai and Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi.

International Exhibitions

Triennale India

Air India Exhibitions in Australia

British Art Festival

U K British Prints Biennale U K

Art Exhibition in Japan


Buckingham Palace, London.

J.J. School of Art, Mumbai.

Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.

College of Art, New Delhi.

Salarjung Museum, Hyderabad.

Lalit Kala Akademi, Hyderabad.

Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi.

National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi.

Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Govt. of India, New Delhi.

Parliament House, New Delhi.

Tata Fundamental Research Institute, Mumbai.

Boyden Gallery, St. Mary’s College of Maryland.


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