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 in Visva Bharati, Santniketan and finished his art studies in 1961. From 1961 to 1964, he did his doctoral thesis on the mural paintings of Kerala. By the mid-60s, he had 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 till his voluntary retirement in 1992. In 199 1, he was appointed honorary chairman, Kerala Lalit Kala Akadenii.

Besides doing paintings, graphics and sculptures, Ramachandran designed stamps. He also wrote and illustrated children's books which were published in Japan, England, the USA and also in India. An accomplished book designer, Ramachandran's children's books have received international acclaim.

Initially, Ramachandran painted in an expressionist style which reflected the angst or urban life most poignantly. The paintings were large like murals and had a powerful figuration. By the '80s, however, Ramachandran's work underwent a sea-change. Urban reality was no longer a dominant preoccupation. A tribal community in Rajasthan with its vibrant ethos gripped his imagination. Simultaneously, the colours and forms f the murals in Kerala temples began to influence his expression. And he harked back to his Santiniketan training where the decorative elements were as integral to the painting as the figures fore grounded 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. An artist who considered Ramkinkar as his guru, Ramachandran created sculptures which were even more intriguing in formal terms than his paintings.

As a painter, Ramachandran's 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 both a piquancy and a feeling of new discoveries.

Ramachandran lives and works in New Delhi.

A. Ramachandran-1.jpg (14020 bytes)

A. Ramachandaran
Urvashi and Puruvas
Oil on Canvas
80" x 54"
1990

A. Ramachandran-2.jpg (13972 bytes)

A. Ramachandaran
Monkeys & the Kanchan Tree
Oil on Canvas
80" x 60"
1991

A. Ramachandran-3.jpg (15542 bytes)

A. Ramachandaran
Urvashi & her companion
Oil on Canvas
80" x 54"
1989