Akbar Padamsee was born in 1928 in Bombay.
He studied at St. Xavier’s High School and met his first mentor, a watercolorist who taught him the medium. From 1948 - 1951 he studied at the Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai. In 1951 he received his diploma in Art.
In 1951 he won an award from the French Journal (Journal d’Arte). In 1952 he participated in his first group show with S.H. Raza & F.N. Souza at Gallerie Saint Placide, Paris. In 1952 he had two more shows with Raza & Souza. In 1953 he had a joint exhibition with Raza at Galerie Raymond Creuze, Paris. In 1953 & 1955 he participated in the International Biennales, Venice. In 1954 he had a solo exhibition at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai. In 1954 he was awarded gold medal by Calcutta Fine Arts Society, Calcutta.
In 1957 he had a solo exhibition at Galeriede Ventadour, Paris. In 1958 he took part in a group show ‘Seven Indian Painters’ at Gallery One, London. In 1959 he participated in Sao Paulo Biennale and in Tokyo Biennale. In 1959 he had a group show with M.F. Husain, S.H. Raza & Krishen Khanna at Gallery 59, New York. In 1960 he had a solo exhibition (organised by Gallery 59) at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai. In 1961 he participated in second Paris Biennale. In 1962 he received the National Award from Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi. In 1962 he participated in a group show at Galerie 9, Paris. In 1962 he had a solo exhibition at Kunika Chemould Art Centre, New Delhi.
In 1963 he participated in the Venice Biennale and the 3rd Paris Biennale. In 1963 he had a solo exhibition at Gallery 63, New York. In 1964 he had a solo show of drawings at Gallery Chemould, Mumbai. In 1965 he had a solo exhibition at Galerie 9, Paris. In 1965 he received the J.D. Rockefeller Fellowship, USA. In 1966 he was invited to showcase at Museum of Contemporary Art, Montreal. In 1967 for one semester he was the artist in residence at Stout State University, Wisconsin, USA. In 1969 he received the Nehru Fellowship for 2 years from New Delhi and he made short films, ‘Syzygy’ & ‘Events in a Cloud Chamber’.
In 1974 and 1975 he exhibited at Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai and in 1978 and 1979 he participated in a group show ‘Pictorial Space’ at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi. In 1979 he took part in a group exhibition in Mumbai and in 1980 he exhibited solo ‘Muktibodh’ at Lalit Kala Bhavan in Bhopal. In 1981 he exhibited at MOMA, Oxford. In 1982 he participated in Festival of India, London. In 1984 he participated in a group show ‘10 Artists’ at Gallery 7, Mumbai and a group exhibition of contemporary painters at Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai. In 1984 - 1985 he exhibited watercolours at Art Heritage, New Delhi. In 1985 - 1987 he participated in Printmaking at Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal.
In 1985 he participated in a group show in Paris and took part in a group show at Jehangir Ar