Born in 1935, Kerala, Achutan Ramachandran has received numerous awards including, ‘Padma Bhushan’ (2005), ‘Raja Ravi Varma Puruskar’ (2003) and ‘National Award for Painting’ (1973, 1969).
Ramachandran graduated with a degree in Malayalam Literature from Kerala University before pursuing a Diploma in Fine Arts. As a student at Kala Bhavan in Santineketan, Ramachandran studied art under masters like Ramkinkar Baij and Benodebehari Mukherjee. The cultural and intellectual milieu of Santiniketan drew him closer to the art traditions of India and other eastern civilizations and it is here that he began his lifelong research on the Mural Painting tradition of temples in Kerala.
Ramachandran initially painted in an Expressionistic style that reflected the angst of urban life, particularly the suffering he saw when visiting the city of Kolkata, but by the 1980s his style had undergone a vital change. From urban reality he moved his focus towards tribal community life, especially the tribes from Rajasthan, whose lives and culture gripped his imagination. The vibrant ethos of Rajasthan and his research on the mural paintings of Kerala influenced his expression. The decorative elements and...