Akbar Padamsee completed his Diploma in Fine Arts from the Sir J J School of Art, Mumbai. He left for Paris in 1949. In 1965, he received the J D Rockefeller III Fund Fellowship. He was Artist-in-Residence at the Stout State University, Wisconsin and held a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Montreal in 1967. He returned to India the same year and was awarded the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship for 1969-70, during which he made four short films one of which was ‘SYZYGY’; based on a set of his animated geometrical drawings, and ‘Events in a Cloud Chamber’.

He has held several solo exhibitions throughout his long and illustrious career. He was awarded the Kalidas Samman by the Madhya Pradesh State Government (1997-98). French Art Journal, Arts Award, France (1952), Bank of India Excellence Awards (1998) and Lalit Kala Ratna Puraskar (2004). He is also a keen student of Sanskrit.

He lives and works in Mumbai.