A Lifetime of Lines
21 July – 13 August 2021
Monday – Saturday | 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Vadehra Art Gallery
D-40 Defence Colony, New Delhi – 110024
Vadehra Art Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition by artist A. Ramachandran titled A Lifetime of Lines,on view at our modern gallery space from 21 July through 13 August 2021.
Deeply influenced by Indian classical art and Nandalal Bose in particular, Ramachandran is a master of Indian aesthetics by painting archetypal Indian imagery and socio-political symbols in a modernist vein. As a student at Kala Bhavan in Santiniketan, 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.
From 1958, A. Ramachandran’s body of drawings consists of not only sketches and studies of his process of painting but of images developed from portraits, flowers, plants and landscapes which reoccur in most of his works. Over the span of 56 years, he created over five thousand drawings in which now we observe the evolution of his strokes of ink on a variety of paper. Following the methodology taught by his teacher, Ramkinkar Baij, he would sketch with the suggestion of three dimensional quality of a bas-relief, a projecting image with a shallow overall depth. Over time, he developed his own way of defining and contouring lines that suggested volume, angles and depth. According to the subject matter, he would use continuous or broken lines that later on became independent art expressions in his course of work. Ramachandran initially painted in an expressionistic style that reflected urban reality as well as a focus towards tribal community life, especially the tribes from Rajasthan, whose lives and culture gripped his imagination. Decorative elements, dramatic ambiences and myths became an integral part of his work along with his powerful line and a greater understanding of colour and form.
Art historian, author and critic, Ella Datta mentions, “At Kala Bhavana, Visva Bharati in Santiniketan, drawing and sketching were encouraged as an integral part of one's art practice. It was a lesson that artist A. Ramachandran internalised and practised relentlessly through his decades-long career in art. As a result of this constant honing of his artistic genius, Ramachandran's control over his pen has achieved a magical expressiveness. His lines are lyrical, dramatic, expressionistic, satirical, romantic and sometimes delightfully funny.” Datta adds, “This fascinating play of lines and forms will now be on view in the show, A Lifetime of Lines, at Vadehra Art Gallery. Some 80 drawings relating to the landmark works of his oeuvre, be it Yayati, Lotus Ponds, Grave Diggers, the Urvashi series, as well as many more from his earliest years are here to grip the viewers' imagination.”
The show is on view at the gallery where we’re undertaking strict health, sanitization and social distancing measures to ensure the safety of our visitors.
ABOUT VADEHRA ART GALLERY
Established in 1987, Vadehra Art Gallery is among the most well-respected art galleries in India representing a roster of artists spanning four generations. Modern masters like M.F. Husain, Ram Kumar, S.H. Raza and Tyeb Mehta find prime spot in the gallery’s calendar alongside the subsequent generation of modernists like Arpita Singh, Nalani Malani, Gulammohammed Sheikh and Rameshwar Broota. VAG’s contemporary programme includes some of the most exciting names in Indian art such as Atul Dodiya, Shilpa Gupta, Anju Dodiya, N.S. Harsha, Jagannath Panda, as well as young emerging talent. As a key artistic interlocutor to audiences in India the gallery expanded its exhibition programme in 2007 to exhibit important names from the international contemporary art scene. Since then VAG has exhibited works of significant international artists including Yoko Ono, Wolfgang Laib, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud. Vadehra Art Gallery ventured into publishing in 1996, finding a crucial need for adequate documentation, critical writing, and quality reproduction of images. In the last two decades the gallery has published hundreds of illustrated exhibition catalogues, and several important artist monographs, some in collaboration with international publishing house, Prestel.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Born in 1935 in Attingal, Kerala, A. RAMACHANDRAN graduated with a degree in Malayalam literature from Kerala University before pursuing a diploma in fine arts and crafts from Kala Bhavan, Visva University, at Santiniketan.
The artist has been exhibited at important institutions, including Lalith Kala Akademi, Kochi (2019); Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi (2018); the Cleveland Museum of Art, USA (2017); the Art Museum of Seoul National University (2008); the Singapore Museum of Art (2007); and the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi (2004). He has participated in several solo shows, including Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi (2015, 2013); Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi (2014); Lalit Kala Akademi, Kochi (2014); Grosvenor Vadehra, London (2008); Guild Art Gallery, Mumbai and New York (2007–08); and Nami Island, Korea (2005), to name a few. He has also participated in many group shows, including Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi (2013); Grosvenor Gallery, London (2011), among other international and national venues. Important retrospective exhibitions of his work have been organized by Vadehra Art Gallery in 2004, as well as the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), New Delhi, in 2003; Kumar Gallery at Art Heritage, New Delhi; and Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, in 1983. A recipient of the Padma Bhushan in 2005, Ramachandran has several other prestigious awards to his credit, including the Raja Ravi Verma Puruskar in 2003 and the National Award for Painting in both 1973 and 1969. The artist lives and works in New Delhi.