In the vast world of Indian art, A Ramachandran was a big name. He wasn’t afraid to be different. While many artists were looking to the West for ideas in the 1960s, he wanted to create art that was truly Indian. Later, in the 1980s, he started making art inspired by nature. He once said, “Every work of art has its own life. It can live long or fade away.”
On February 10, Ramachandran passed away in Delhi at the age of 88. He was sick with kidney problems. His colleague Paramjit Singh said, “He was an artist of our country. His loss is not just for the art world but for the whole nation.”
Ramachandran was born in Kerala and loved the temple murals he saw as a child. He decided to study Kerala mural art at Santiniketan after seeing a famous sculpture. His teachers there taught him to express himself freely.
In his early paintings, he showed the hardships of life he saw around him. Later, he started using Indian traditions in his art, even though some people criticized him for it.
Some key facts about Ramachandran:
- Born in Kerala in 1935, he was first inspired by temple murals he saw as a child.
- The full name of A Ramachandran was Achutan Ramachandran Nair.
- Studied Malayalam literature before pursuing art at Santiniketan, where he embraced free expression.
- Early politically charged art responded to events like the Naxal movement.
- Later art focused more on nature, Indian folk art, and Indian iconography while retaining subtle complexities.
- Made major contributions to Indian art as a curator, author, and educator.
- Received numerous honors including the Padma Bhushan in 2005.
Ramachandran’s work didn’t just reflect the present. It also looked at the past and the future. He wrote books and taught students, leaving behind a rich legacy.
In the end, A Ramachandran’s art will be remembered for its beauty and its connection to Indian culture. He showed us that art can be a celebration of life itself.