Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala

Modern Painting


Individualism had become a hallmark of Kerala art scene by the beginning of 1970s. Driven by existential angst majorly caused by the political imbalance which existed largely in the Indian society then, and also driven by progressive left wing ideas, students at the School of Art in Trivandrum led a historical struggle to convert into the College of Fine Arts as we know it today. The presence of artists like Jeevan Thomas, N.N.Rimzon, K.P.Krishnakumar, Alex Mathew, Surendran Nair and so on enriched that year and each of them became important beacons in the Indian modern and contemporary art. Before, they established in the Indian art firmament, it was K.G.Subramanyan who had gone from Madras to Santiniketan who brought the name of Kerala on to the national art scene followed by A.Ramachandran. Both of them studied under the legendary Ram Kinkar Baij and established themselves as highly reckoned modern Indian artists. Interestingly, both K.G.S and A.Ramachandran stand in continuation with the rich mural tradition in Kerala, though they do not obviously subscribe to the ethos and technique of this tradition. K.S.Radhakrishnan is one of the Young Turks of 1970s who went to Santiniketan, instead of Trivandrum or Madras and cleared a wide path for himself in the field of sculpture. With the rare reputation of being an exclusive bronze sculptor, K.S.Radhakrishnan is internationally known as a contemporary Indian artist whose presence in Kerala’s cultural landscape also has become too strong to be avoided in the recent past.

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