Artist A Ramachandran talking to newspersons in Delhi on July 30, 2013.
New Delhi, July 31, 2013
Well-known painter and sculptor A Ramachandran, who has achieved great success in the past five decades in the national capital, will exhibit his celebrated works for the first time in his home state of Kerala.
A mini-retrospective of the artist's works will be held from August 11-25 at the Durbar Hall Gallery in Kochi, according to Vadehra Art Gallery (VAG) here which is organising the event that will showcase 100 works covering the different genres in which Ramachandran has worked over the past 50 years.
The show will provide art lovers in Kerala their first chance to directly experience Ramachandran's works.
The occasion comes 56 years after Ramachandran left Thiruvananthapuram to study art at Santiniketan in West Bengal and eventually gained global fame.
Curated by well-known art historian R Siva Kumar, the Kochi exhibition will feature 48 of Ramachandran’s paintings, 38 water-colours and ten etchings besides four sculptures including two sculptural groups, Arun Vadehra, director of VAG, said.
“The earliest of them would date back to 1964. The repertoire includes recent works as well,” he told a press conference here yesterday. VAG will be organising a mega exhibition of the complete works of Ramachandran next year on the occasion of his 50th year in the capital.
As for Ramachandran who moved to Santiniketan in West Bengal in 1957 to pursue the study of art under stalwarts like Ramkinkar Baij, Nandalal Bose and Benodebehari Mukherjee, his creativity bears rich shades of exposure to varied cultures of India and the rest of the world.
“My early paintings were an angry young man’s anxious and emotional response to human suffering,” the 78-year-old artist recalled. Over the decades, his style underwent tremendous changes — more so from the 1970s which also saw a diversification of his interests and activities.
Ramachandran’s famed and monumental mural-sized Yayati done in the mid-1980s ended his engagement with the darker side of human predicament. His more recent paintings portray a celebratory pageant of sensuous beauty, according to Prof Siva Kumar, also a Malayali, currently the professor of art history at Kala Bhavan in VisvaBharati University.
Leading art conservator-writer Rupika Chawla noted that Ramachandran always integrated himself with Indian tradition and environment, deriving faith and nourishment from his roots.
“For him, as a prolific reader, western precepts and art history have relevance only when redefined for a specific purpose or analogy,” she added.
Ramachandran, who was born in 1935 at Attingal in south Kerala, had a second tryst with Kerala when he was appointed chairman of the Lalithalala Akademi at Thrissur.
Even so, this is the first time the celebrity’s works are being exhibited anywhere in Kerala.
The artist, who has been living in Delhi since 1964, taught art at Jamia Millia Islamia in the city for 27 years before taking voluntary retirement. In 2002, he was elected a Fellow at the Central Lalit Kala Akademi.
The next year he was awarded the Raja Ravi Varma Puraskaram and, in 2005, he was conferred with the Padma Bhushan — the country’s third-highest civilian honour.