Sunday, August 18, 2013

Works by A Ramachandran

New Delhi-based Vadehra Art hosts a show of works by A Ramachandran at LKA, Kochi. A recipient of the Padma Bhushan in 2005, Ramachandran has several other pretigious awards to his credit. Some of them include the Raja Ravi Verma Puruskar in 2003 and the National Award for Painting in both 1973 and 1969.

As a student at Kala Bhavan in Santineketan, Ramachandran studied art under masters like Ramkinkar Baij and Benodebehari Mukherjee. The cultural and intellectual milieu of Santiniketan drew him closer to the art traditions of India and other eastern civilizations and it is here that he began his lifelong research on the Mural Painting tradition of temples in Kerala.

Ramachandran initially painted in an Expressionistic style that reflected the angst of urban life, particularly the suffering he saw when visiting the city of Kolkata, but by the 1980s his style had undergone a vital change. From urban reality he moved his focus towards tribal community life, especially the tribes from Rajasthan, whose lives and culture gripped his imagination.

The vibrant ethos of Rajasthan and his research on the mural paintings of Kerala influenced his expression. The decorative elements and myths became an integral part of his works and his powerful line along with a greater understanding of colour and form created a dramatic ambience. His sculptures, which he made in the later years, were almost three dimensional translations of his paintings, containing multiple narratives and mythological interpretations.

Among his selected solo exhibitions are  'Bahurupi', Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi (2009); a show courtesy Vadehra Art Gallery at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai (2008); 'Recent Works', Grosvenor Vadehra, London (2008); ‘Face to Face’, Art Practice of A Ramachandran, The Guild Art Gallery, Mumbai and New York (2007-08); 'The Universe in the Lotus Pond', Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi; Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Kolkata (2006).

His other solos include 'Illustrations of ‘Gaudi’s Ocean’, exhibited at Nami Island, South Korea (2005); ‘Yayati’, Art Heritage, New Delhi (2002); ‘Icons of the Raw Earth, Part-I and II’, an exhibition of Bronze Sculptures and Drawings at Shridharani Gallery, New Delhi (1998);  ‘Puppet Theatre’, Dhoomimal Gallery, New Delhi (1981), and  ‘Retrospective’, organized by Kumar Gallery, New Delhi (1978).

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