Veteran artist Mehlli Gobhai died in Mumbai on Thursday morning after a month in hospital, his friends and family said. Gobhai had been ailing for a while. He was 87.

Born in Mumbai, Gobhai went to St Xavier’s College. He was a student at the Royal College of Art in London and the Art Students League and the Pratt Graphic Centre in New York, according to a description on the Saffron Art auction house website. He worked in New York for 20 years before returning to Mumbai in the 1980s.

Gobhai is considered one of the “foremost abstractionist artists in India”, a description on the Jehangir Nicholson Art Foundation website said. “Gobhai’s paintings record the dialogue between the spare line and burnished field.”

The artist held many solo and group shows in India and abroad. Some of his solo exhibitions were held at Gallery Chemould, Bombay Art Gallery and Gallery 7 and the New India House in New York.