Abdul Rahim Appa Bhai Allmelkar was born in Ahmedabad. He was fond of painting since childhood. His father was a spinning master and later a manager in a textile mill. In his childhood, he visited Ahmedabad, Delhi, Calcutta, Bhavnagar and Baroda etc. with his father.
You studied till ninth class in Sholapur but due to your interest in art, you left your studies and started drawing all the time. He started painting under the guidance of an artist Mr. K.N. Kelkar and passed the Bombay Elementary and Intermediate examinations there.
Later, on the encouragement of his parents, he took admission in Nutan Kala Mandir, Bombay in 1936, where Mr. G.S. Dandavatimath encouraged him a lot. After some time, he took higher education in art at Sir J.J. School of Art and obtained Diploma in Art in 1940.
After getting education, he started working in a block making firm for one rupee per day to earn his living. In his spare time, he used to paint and exhibit. His paintings started getting sold and within seven-eight years, he got recognition as an artist.
In 1948 he held his first major exhibition. In that he received the Bombay Government Award. From 1949 he started organizing solo exhibitions. During the said period itself, he studied the Indian method of painting from Mr. H.L. Khatri of Ahmedabad and he also encouraged Allmelkar a lot.
In 1953, he lost his job at Express Block Works but he did not lose courage. He was creating a picture series based on the life of people of Maharashtra. At the same time, his house caught fire and thousands of his sketches were burnt and destroyed.
He also faced this objection with great courage and by working eighteen hours a day, he organized the exhibition after only ten months. At the time of this crisis, M/s Bolkart Brothers contracted for pictures of twelve Indian birds and animals for their calendar for five thousand rupees.
These paintings helped a lot in spreading his fame in the country and abroad. After this, he organized many exhibitions and was honored with more than a dozen gold medals, several silver medals and many certificates and appreciation letters. In 1956, she was presented a cash prize of one thousand rupees and a Banarasi scarf by the President.
In connection with his art, he visited every part of India and depicted nature and tribes.
Initially, Alamelkar used to depict scenes with water colours, then he depicted ancient stories in the Indian traditional style, which has the influence of Mughal, Rajasthani, Basauli and southern miniature paintings.
From his 25th exhibition in 1968, he started using oil colors instead of water colors and also reduced the figurativeness. After that he started making pictures on brown cardboard. They paint with fingers and draw with paintbrushes using water-soaked thick ink.
In this way he has made more than ten thousand paintings which are stored in many museums. His style is influenced by Indian miniature paintings but his compositions are modern and sophisticated. By molding the figures in one’s personal style, harmony and tension have been created with lines as thin as strings.
This painting is mostly in tempera. There is also a touch of folk art and regionalism in his art. He wants to bring the folk life and folk art of his country in front of the Indian and foreign people. This is his contribution to Indian painting. Their figures are a part of a picturesque folk scene.
Alamelkar’s paintings are not in modern styles, nor are they made in any traditional style. There is nothing new in them that would suddenly attract one towards them: but their paintings can be hung along with the paintings made in modern styles and also with the paintings of classical styles. He is a simple, humble and confident artist, devoid of any external ostentation. There is no discrimination or discrimination of any kind among them.
Almelkar was also invited to Malaysia as a national guest where he gave several lectures. After returning to India, he also published his memoirs along with line drawings.