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About the Artist

A. Ramachandran is one of India’s most distinguished and prolific artists who has ceaselessly experimented with visual language for more than four decades. His art is both contemporary and Indian in essence. Painter, sculptor, graphic artist, designer and art educationist, Ramachandran has explored diverse mediums and scales, with a dynamic personal vision and distinctive artistic style. He began this journey as an expressionist painter exploring the predicament of human condition and misery, that too, on a monumental scale. Already politically sensitized by his early life in Kerala, the poverty and suffering he witnessed on the streets of Kolkata and subsequently in New Delhi moved him to produce grim contorted human images, literally representing human beings as headless entities. Suffused with social imagery, his early works re-enacted themes of exploitation, oppression, war, human brutality, and political violence.

A Rendezvous at the Lotus Pond

 “Under the British rule, the European norms became very important because they were the ruling class. Just as in the Mughal era their aesthetics was our national ethos. Nowadays we are usurped by the global culture. We’ve forgotten that we have our own specialties—in our dresses, our food habits, our appearance, our environment—we’ve our own cultural ecology. Hardly anybody thinks about it. We’ve folk artists, theatrics, costumes, and so much more. There was a time when each tribe had their unique costumes, jewellery, potteries, and architecture. We are losing all this. I believe that we should preserve our cultural ecology.” 

- A. Ramachandran

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Domains of Eco-Criticism

Feature Article in 'Art & Deal' Indian art magazine by Siddharth Sivakumar.

Siddharth writes about the recently concluded exhibition of the artist at Kochi.

"While upstairs, we discovered an angry young man with an interest in western modernism, downstairs we meet a
happy old man contemplating on his own cultural moorings. His large sculptural installation Bahuroopi and two large
canvases dominated the large central hall, through which one entered the exhibition on the ground floor. Other works were thematically distributed in the other two rooms. As one turned left from this room one encountered the Birth of the Palash Tree, wherein we saw the artist as a kinnara painting the world into existence..."

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Life in Murals

In his childhood, A Ramachandran often accompanied his mother to the Krishna temple. He observed the Kerala mural paintings on the walls, that shone in the dim light from the oil lamp. He found the complex nature of the paintings attractive and the mystery that came from the light was rather appealing. “For me paintings are not objects to adorn the walls. Instead they should arouse some feelings within, like those murals that I watched in the temple did. I create large paintings to replicate the same feelings,” said the renowned artist.

Portrait of a Homecoming

I have never missed Kerala,” says artist A Ramachandran. “I regard myself as a world citizen. I am a bird that was hatched in a nest, and then flew away,” adds the veteran. The Delhi-based Vadhera Art Gallery recently took Ramachandran’s first retrospective to Kerala at the Durbar Hall in Kochi....

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(Source: New Indian Express, September 1, 2013)



Retrospective of 100 works by artist A Ramachandran at Kochi

Fifty-six years after he left Kerala to study art that eventually lent him global fame as a painter-sculptor, A. Ramachandran’s native state is poised to host its first show of the Delhi-based icon. As many as 100 works of the Padma Bhushan awardee completed over the past half a century are slated to be exhibited at a mini retrospective in this city from tomorrow (Sunday). Curated by well-known art historian R Siva Kumar, also a Malayali, the Kochi exhibition is being organised by the renowned Vadehra Art Gallery (VAG) of the national capital. The show will feature 48 of Ramachandran’s paintings, 38 water-colours and ten etchings besides four sculptures including two sculptural groups, revealed Arun Vadehra, director of VAG, which is celebrating its 25th year....

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(Source: Janam TV News, August 11, 2013)


Kerala sees debut show of Delhi-based Malayali's 100 works

 “I have a feeling that the new generation would receive my paintings better,” he maintained, standing next to illustrious filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan and mingling with art buffs who gathered in the evening to take in the 78-year-old icon’s works that curator R Siva Kumar has broadly classified into two: pre- and post-Yayati.

It was in 1986 that the artist completed his masterpiece Yayati, his largest work by far. The 60-ft-by-8-ft creation “redefines his idea of a mural and of a modernist painter itself”, observed Prof Siva Kumar, who teaches at Kala Bhavan in Santiniketan — also Ramachandran’s alma mater....

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(Source: Metro Mart Daily, August 2013)