A mini-retrospective of Delhi-based artist A Ramachandran, featuring works done over the past 50 years, is set to open for the first time in his native Kerala next month.
The retrospective representing a total of 100 selected works -watercolours, paintings, sketches, etchings and sculptures - executed between 1964 and 2013 is slated to be displayed at the newly renovated Durbar Hall Gallery in Kochi.
Organised by the Vadehra Art Gallery from August 11 to 25, the event marks a prelude to the artist's exhibition of drawings, watercolours and sculptures lined up for opening in 2014.
"The show in Kochi includes a few of my earliest set of watercolours done in 1992 to the latest works in 2010. Some of my earlier works that remained unsold are still with me, so all that will be included in the retrospective," Ramachandran said.
Noted art historian R Siva Kumar who has curated the show has written a foreword essay, explaining the crucial changes in the visual language of the artist over the years, in an accompanying catalogue.
"Siva Kumar who is very familiar with my work, has completely curated the entire show. My only contribution was to suggest that he reverse the order of showing and begin with my latest works first and leave my earlier 'daravani' (frightening) works for later viewing," says the 78-year-old artist.
In his initial artistic career, Ramachandran painted grotesque images filled with urban angst and grim headless human images bodies to re-enact themes of exploitation, oppression, war, human brutality, and political violence.
However, in his later works, the artist who was conferred with a Padma Bhushan, has been inspired from mythology, rural landscapes and tribal art particularly from villages of Rajasthan and murals especially those from Kerala.
Ramachandran has in his lifetime executed works like the "Yayati" a 1986 monumental 60 feet installation comprising painting and bronze sculptures. His rock sculpture at Sriperumbathoor where former India prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated is possibly the largest commission of public art in modern India.