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G. Raman

Chennai, India Born 1942
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Regional Lalit Kala Akademi Scholarship & Senior Fellowship (2000-1); Honourable mention, National Art Exhibition (1997); All India Fine Arts & Crafts Society award (1996); Regional Lalit Kala Akademi Scholarship & Fellowship awarded by Government of India (1992-3); Intermediate Christian Art award, New York (1974); Lit. Lit. Annual Art award, New York (1973); Became State Lalit Kala Akademi scholar (1967); Bombay Art Society award (1965); Acquired a First Class Diploma in Advanced Painting in 1967 and a First Class Diploma in Fine Arts in 1966 at the Government College of Arts and Crafts, Chennai; Attained a First Class Diploma in Sheet Metal sculpture at the Government College in 1961

Selected Exhibitions

Athreyaa Art Gallery, Chennai (2009); 'Art for Prabhat', Travancore House, New Delhi (2008); 'G. Raman and M. Natesh: Indian Tradition and Subversion', The Noble Sage at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, London (2008); Vinyasa Premier Art Gallery, Chennai (2007); Ayya Art Gallaries, Chennai (2006); 'Chennai Excite; New Works From South India' The Noble Sage Art Gallery, London (2006); Vinyasa Art Gallery Annual Show, Chennai (2000-2); Mahatma Gandhi Exhibition, Victoria Technical Institute, Chennai (1993-2001);Nadu Oviam Nunkalai Kuzhu, Annual Exhibition, Lalit Kala Akademi, Chennai (1993-2001); Lalit Kala Akademi, Chennai (1999); Lalit Kala Akademi Exhibition, Delhi (1996); All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society, New Delhi (2006); South Zone Cultural Exhibition, Chennai (1995); Group Exhibition, Government College of Arts & Crafts (1994); Birla Academy of Art Centre, Kolkata (1993); Sakshi Gallery Chennai (1989); State Lalit Kala Academy, Chennai (1977-1991); All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society, New Delhi (1973-83); Bombay Art Society (1965); All India Artist Exhibition, Hyderabad (1963-78)

Raman lives a quiet, contented life in the same Chennai house in which he lived as a child. He has now lived there for more than sixty years, his home doubling for the last four decades as his artist studio. Raman's art has warranted him high regard and opinion he has received twenty-nine awards, three of them international, and is collected widely. Harking back to the design of traditional Indian art, Raman is interested in the purity of line and the ornate patterns of motifs and symbols that can be used to delineate form and tone. He chooses generally to depict figures and events in Hindu mythology though has journeyed into Christian imagery, tackling subjects such as Christ with Mary Magdalene and the Prodigal Son. Raman is known also for his portraits of contemporary India,events in village settings such as we view in 'Tambura Player' (2009). Though subjects, and the handling of them, recur in his body of work, this is not an accident or proof of an artist with few ideas. On the contrary, this is an artist who loves his subjects so much that repeating their depiction is a way of laying himself at their feet and dedicating himself to them. In 'Jesus at the Marriage at Cana' (2009) and 'Moses' (2009) one can see Raman turning his hand to these rarer subjects in his repertoire. Black acrylic paint is used as an undercoat though in the former he leaves a grey uneven border around the edge. It is onto this black background that the artist, with his unerring hand and impressive sense of design, creates his dense composition in white paint. One notes the bright,fluorescent colour in both canvases being used to further enhance the significance of the line. The bright colour, although often used sparingly, help give the final painting a vision that sets his work aside from others in South India. 'Jesus at the Marriage at Cana' is particularly fascinating as one perceives the linear, replicated designs of totem-like faces in the background. These become symbols of Christ's dumbfounded spectators all with different mouth shapes one might add. In this way, Raman's pictorial vocabulary cannot be underestimated and attributed to pure decoration.

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