A maverick, Dashrath Patel, who was born in Nadiad, studied fine arts in Chennai and went on to Paris to study painting, sculpture and ceramics. Patel is considered a visionary in the field of design, and is often referred to as “India's Renaissance Man”. Patel, traverses disparate disciplines in his creative output. One of India's first multi-media artists, he is accomplished in fields such as photography, painting, installation art, pottery and industrial design. Patel never works strictly within the confines of these disciplines, but deliberately transgresses boundaries to draw out the interrelations between them.
His oeuvre comprises line drawings, ceramics, photographs and collages. Though each medium and its imagery are perfectly evolved, he resists the need to formalise that particular body of work as “his style”, and risk being typecast. Investigation of the interrelation of light and colour remained central to his art through all his shifts of style and medium. Patel’s Indian colour sensitivity grew out of a tremendous understanding between landscape and light.
Patel was awarded the Padma Shri in 1981, and Padma Bhushan posthumously in 2011.
His artworks are part of important collections across the world. A large body of his exemplary work can be viewed at the Dashrath Patel Museum in Alibaug.