A Ramachandran

A. Ramachandran was born in Attingal, Kerala, in 1935.

In 1957, he obtained his Master’s degree in Malayalam literature. But art had remained a continuing interest since childhood.

He joined Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan and completed his education in art in 1961.

Between 1961 and 1964, he did his doctoral thesis on the mural paintings of Kerala.

By the mid-60s, he shifted to Delhi and in 1965, he joined the Jamia Milia Islamia as a lecturer in art education.

Later, he became a professor in the same department and was attached to the university till his voluntary retirement in 1992.

In 1991, he was appointed honorary chairman, Kerala Lalit Kala Akademi.

Initially, Ramachandran painted in an expressionist style which poignantly reflected the angst of urban life.

The paintings were large, akin to murals, and comprised powerful figuration. By the Eighties, however, Ramachandran’s work underwent a sea-change. Urban reality was no longer a preoccupation. A tribal community in Rajasthan with its vibrant ethos gripped his imagination. Simultaneously, the colours and forms of the murals in the Kerala temples began to influence his mode of expression. And, he harked back to his Santiniketan training where the decorative elements were as integral to the painting as the figures foregrounded in them. Myths became a great resource for him. The first series in this new style of painting was Yayati. Ramachandran began to create a complete ambience with paintings and sculptures. As a painter, his strong command over lines, colours and forms creates an exciting visual drama. Like the traditional bas relief temple sculptures, Ramachandran’s canvases are vibrant with a sense of teeming, burgeoning life. The artist’s quirky sense of irony imbues his paintings with a piquancy and a feeling of new discoveries. And, as one who considered Ramkinkar Baij as his guru, Ramachandran created sculptures which were even more intriguing in formal terms than his paintings. Ramachandran lives and works in New Delhi

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