Cart Menu
Shopping Cart Summary Your shopping cart is empty
Love Art?

Subscribe to our weekly images newsletter and be the first to discover emerging artists from South Asia.

M. Senathipathi

Chennai, India Born 1939
View Video Interview

Attained a Diploma in Drawing and Painting from the Government College of Arts & Crafts, Chennai, and becomes a member of the Cholamandal Artists Village in 1965; President of the Artists Handicrafts Association from 1986 to present

Selected Solo Exhibitions

Vinyasa Art Gallery, Chennai (2004); Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai (1996 & 1992); Cholamandal Artists Village, Chennai (1995); Galerie 88, Calcutta (1993); Chola Art Gallery, Hotel Chola, Chennai (1991); The Grindlays Art Gallery, Chennai (1888); Max Mueller Bhavan, Bangalore (1984); Lalit Kala Akademi, Chennai (1982)

Selected Group Exhibitions

Figuration from India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, The Noble Sage, London (2011); Chennai Excite, The Noble Sage, London, 2006; Expressions: an exhibition of paintings by contemporary artists, Kasthuri Srinivasan Art Gallery, Coimbatoire, India (2005); Kuhus Art Gallery, London; Utterly Art Exhibition Space, Singapore (2003); Artfolio Space @ Raffles, Raffles Hotel, Singapore (2002); Indian Contemporary Art, Gallery Lambaudi, USA (2002); Figurative Painting in Contemporary India, Kala Fine Art, USA (2002); Quayside Gallery, Cambridgeshire, UK (1996); National Exhibition of Art, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi (1996); GATE Foundation, Amsterdam, Holland (1990); VI Triennale India, Lalit Kala Adademi, New Delhi (1986); Cholamandal Artists Exhibition, Morocco (1985); Exhibition of Paintings and Sculptures of Contemporary India, Kala Yatra at Wimsa Loke Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1982); Robin Hood International Art Exhibition, Sydney, Australia (1982); Asian Pacific Museum, Poland (1982)

Selected Collections

National Gallery of Modern Art, India

Asia and Pacific Museum, Poland

HRH Princess Wijdav Ali of Jordan

Selected Awards

British Council Grant to visit UK, France, Holland, Belgium and Germany (1988); Tamil Nadu Lalit Kala Akademi Jury Member (1987-8); Senior Fellowship awarded by the Government of India, New Delhi (1984-6); Tamil Nadu Lalit Kala Akademi Award, Chennai (1981)

Selected Bibliography

Cholamandal: An Artists Village, edited by Josef James; Oxford University Press, 2004; Southern Axis A Selection of Contemporary Art of Southern India, edited by Meena Dadha; Mukti, 2005

A founding member of the Cholamandal Artists Village, Senathipathi is certainly one of the strongest and most individual figurative painters in Chennai. He is also one of the most gentle of the collective, an artist willing to let his work take the stage rather than himself as its creator. Key to the thematic interests of his art is his village upbringing. Senathipathi gleefully remembers watching his uncle, the only artistically inclined member of his family, painting large pictures of gods and goddesses on the walls of his ancestral home. He recalls his fascination with the colourful pictures and icons in his parents prayer room. Drawing on the imagery and oral tradition of the epic stories, fables and Hindu mythologies related to him as a child (some of which he purposefully does not re-read or indeed has never read thus relying entirely on memory), Senathipathi developed his highly impressionable and distinctive style and content. Senathipathis art is one built on fluid, lyrical line, brilliant and wisely-choreographed colour and dense pattern. This style is no doubt inspired in part by his early teachers, K.C.S. Paniker (by whom he would finally be invited to join at the Cholamandal Village) and the established and talented figurative artist, A.P. Santhanaraj. His subjects vary from Hindu mythological images such as Krishna and the Cows and Ganesha to sensitive portraits of village couples and musicians, from pictures of friends together or women at rest, play, or with child, through to painterly definitions of abstract ideas and emotions such as insecurity, love or fear. For Senathipathi, he would like his art to touch on those things that are universally understandable. Thus an image of Krishna and his cows is as much about unity, affection and love as his portraits of a husband and wife couple. His works entitled insecurity speak of a similar emotional vernacular as his image of Arjuna (from the Hindu Mahabharata epic) firing an arrow at a target without looking in order to meet a challenge. The implicit meaning is that even those that are epic in stature feel human sentiments and emotions, and equally, even those who live simple lives are epic heroes in their own right. All Senathipathis subjects are the product of the artists mythologizing and it is this that gives them their appeal.