Emami Art, in association with Vadehra Art Gallery, opened ‘Songs of Reclamation: The Art by A. Ramachandran’. The exhibition has been thoughtfully curated by R. Siva Kumar. Covering up three floors of Emami Art Gallery in Kolkata, the exhibition showcases some of the recent works of Ramachandran through 240 artworks. The exhibition will remain open for public viewing between October 28 and December 31, 2022.
The opening day also saw the launch of five books and one catalogue designed by Ramachandran. Children’s Book: The Golden City, The Bad King Who Became A Good King, Jivya and The Tiger God, Dakiya The Mailman, Bhima and the exhibition catalogue ‘Songs of Reclamation: The Art of A. Ramachandran were launched in the presence of dignitaries like Jogen Chowdhury, Pranab Ranjan Ray, Sonia Bellany, Ushmita Sahu , Richa Agarwal, and R. Siva Kumar.
Richa Agarwal, chief executive officer, Emami Art, said, “It gives me immense pleasure to announce that Emami Art is presenting a solo exhibition of A. Ramachandran in collaboration with Vadehra Art Gallery. Curated by R. Siva Kumar, the eminent art historian, the exhibition is the largest recent show of the artist in Kolkata, the city with which he has a special connection. It displays myriad works from his large-scale paintings of lotus pond to the original children book illustrations for which he is widely known, revealing different aspects of A. Ramachandran's creative genius. I sincerely hope that this exhibition will give all art lovers an exciting experience.”
The artist was trained at Santiniketan under the guidance of eminent teachers. Drawing from the post-Independence artistic experience, Ramachandran’s work borders on themes like unfreedom, suffering, rationality, progress and more. For almost two decades between the Sixties to Eighties, his art was shaped by the principles of suffering and cruelty in the modern world.
From the Eighties, he shifted focus on communities through art. Drawing from the Bhil communities around Udaipur, his art portrays nature, social ecology and makes one aware of these in the modern world.
Apart from being one of the finest painters, he is also a sculptor, draftsman and designer of children’s books. The exhibition makes visitors aware of all the different mediums in which he expresses his art.
Ramachandran has been inspired by Nandalal Bose and Ramkinkar Baij from a very early stage. He recalls, “I am not an artist who can work within the four walls of a studio. While I was in Santiniketan, we would often be asked to visit Santhal villages and sketch. These experiences laid the foundation to my work and I realised how important it is for me to interact with nature and be inspired with its myriad shades. I work on children's books, sculptures, oil paintings, watercolours, drawings, sketches and much more. I do not adhere to limitations, which is why I consider myself as a "Bohurupi" in Indian art”.