Rarely have art movements in India been as successful as the Progressive Artists’ Group, launched in 1947. Perhaps Independence and its spirit that encouraged new thinking had something to do with it. Collectives had been formed earlier — in Bombay (now Mumbai), and in Calcutta (now Kolkata) — but never had the impact that the Progressives did. Not on consumers and, as we’re discovering seven decades later, not on prices either. But its success came at a cost too. The Bombay Progressives, alas, eclipsed all the work that had been done by the Bombay School before it. And years later, art-lovers are still paying the price for it.
There was no formal Bombay School as such, just as there is no