Jahangir Sabawala was born in Bombay in 1922. He initially joined the University of Bombay and was a graduate student there from 1936 to 1941: studied art at the Sir J.J. School of Art, Bombay from 1942 to 1943 and then went abroad.
From 1945 to 1947, he attended the Hatherley School of Art, London: then studied various styles of art at the Académie Julien in Paris and the Académie André Lhote from 1948 to 1951, from 1953 to 1954, and at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in 1957. .
In London, Jahangir studied the conservative method and modern trends of the Royal Academy. After that, after following Impressionist and other styles for a long time in Paris, he reached the workshop of the sophisticated painter of Cubist style, Andre Hotte.
After coming to India in 1958, he started painting in cubist style instead of working in classical and impressionist styles. Since then, at every stage of his development, he has been using various forms of cubism in large numbers, but his art has never become abstract.
Familiar forms have been present in his paintings in some way or the other. Behind these lies not only Jahangir’s own nature but also the attitude of the Indian viewers of his paintings, which forms a common basis for discussing his art.
Jahangir Sabawala changed his style three-four times in his early art. First started painting in cubist style. Some paintings were made in the Academy style and also in the Impressionist style. Then some element of Impressionism was added to his Cubist style. After this, he again started painting in the Cubist dialectical style.
Then, in 1963, he worked in a special triangular style while doing abstract painting, in which the shapes are divided minutely and the feelings are conveyed through colors throughout the entire painting. In place of objective reality, imaginary reality began to be recorded and a new sensation of light and space appeared.
His paintings after 1970 revealed a feeling of greater expansion of space. The harmony of bright colors has been an essential part of his method. Then he also started using light blurry colors. Abstract painting was the next step in this.
In Sabawala’s abstract paintings, the lyricism of Impressionism, the analytical intellect of Cubism, and the active enthusiasm are mixed, which has given the artist an opportunity for free expression of his inner feelings.
Around 1980, he again started experimenting with shape. Their figures seem to emerge and disappear from the entire landscape. In his last experiments, his paintings have become more form-oriented, his positive brushstrokes mix together and create a soft effect and there is also a complex experience of space in them.
Some of Sabawala’s major paintings are Shabih of Shiri (Academy style), Holy Soul Kumari Mary (Expressionist style), Leafless Tree in the Blue Lap of the Lake (Impressionist style), Rest of Camels and Desolate Village (Cubist style), Rejected love (Cubist
style), Shanti (coordination of materialism and abstract style), Waterfall (coordination), and Buddhist monk (figurative materialism style).