From the archives: F.N. Souza on Modern Art

A letter written by Francis Newton Souza expressing his views on Modern Art in the summer of '88. This is one of Souza's three letters to be featured in the Modern Indian Art auction this May,

6 June, 88

Dear Jeremy

Thanks for yours of 27th May with photo of your latest acquisition. The little reference you've made for the first time in your letter, your age, etc. gives me an idea of the person I'm writing to.

You're perfectly justified in asking for a price you think proper. (Actually, it isn't much, and I'll buy some of the paintings from you if you feel you are stuck with them.)

They say the price of art rests on one's belief in it. My theory is that the price of a painting is what one is willing to pay for it. Nobody wanted a Van Gogh. Now it's worth fifty thousand.

There are quite good art galleries in India. Modern Indian Art is the best in the world. But it's not hyped up at the international market - yet. But it will come to it that Modern Indian Art will become pricey. There was a big show of Modern Indian Art put up recently in Geneva. A number of art collectors who collect art, they collect especially Modern Indian Art, put their collections on show. Marvelous exhibition. The collectors were mainly European and American.

There's going to be a huge show at the Hayward Gallery, next year, of the works of Indian and African artists who lived in Britain and worked there. I have been invited by the Arts Council of G.B. to participate. I'll be happy to show my new paintings, which are monumental.

All the best
T.T.F.N. (Ta ta for now)
Francis