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Chitra Ramanathan

Chitra Ramanathan
Born 1955, Kerala, India.
Lives and works in In the United States with worldwide travel accepted, for freelance/commissions.




Books on this artist: Year Author Title Subtitle # Pages 479 2005 AskART.com Inc. - Dunbier, Lonnie Pierson (Editor) The Artists Bluebook 34,000 North American Artists to March 2005 Mini Biography Educator and professional artist Chitra Ramanathan’s current series of predominantly large-scale multi-media paintings portray the mental emotion of happiness as a visual entity through intense colors and multiple layers of textures that attract light from various angles, pushing the boundaries of her paintings beyond the confines of a two-dimensional surface. They are inspired by short-lived garden blooms and constantly changing seasons in nature, characteristics that attribute to the ephemeral, fleeting and enticingly beautiful happiness’ "formless form": a phrase she has coined to describe her concept. The hint of circles almost always present in her works signify the cycle of human life: trying times followed by happy phases in a positive sense, and of life and rebirth influenced by her roots from India. Her paintings have been described as "tactile works that resonate with a quiet harmony" and "Simply luxurious" by Manhattan Arts, New York. To quote from an excerpt from an interview with the artist, "Chitra’s paintings exemplify her love of nature as well as the subjectivity of each individual’s unique pursuit of happiness. Her painting procedure often entails making mental notes of a scene in nature, including the lighting, colors, and textures. She then uses these impressions in her studio to replicate the subject matter in an abstracted form, using rich physical textures, intense colors, and varied media". Organizational Affiliations: Member, Committee on Cultural Diversity Practices, College Art Association, New York. 2007-2010 (http://www.collegeart.org) (Active member of CAA since 1997 & Member, Services to Artists Committee from 2003-06) Education: She was educated at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA: Master of Business Administration Concentration: Arts Administration & Human Resources Art Internship: New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York 1997. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honors) Major: Painting 1993. Stella Maris College, Chennai, India: Bachelor of Fine Arts, 1979. Comments: *Saatchi Online: A message from Charles Saactchi: On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 9:39 PM, Charles wrote: Hello, Very happy to see your work on the gallery site. I am thrilled that the standard is so high from such a variety of artists and hope it will be interesting to gallery owners, exhibition curators and collectors to see such diverse work. All my best, CCharles Saatchi visit saatchi-gallery.co.uk *Says a recent collector of Chitra’s painting who is an art connoisseur and a former staffer of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, "I first met Chitra when I took her classes at the Indianapolis Art Center. I wanted a painting by Chitra because I like the feeling her abstract work evokes. I like the way her paintings make me feel and think; and I like how she communicates so much with a subtle use of color or a tiny brush stroke…..There is so much in our world today that can be considered "negative", that I like art around me that offers hope and that reaches for joy. For me, her paintings do that"-Alice Irvan, President, AIRvan Consulting, LLC, Indianapolis U.S.A. Her paintings have been described as "tactile works that resonate with a quiet harmony" and "Simply luxurious" by Manhattan Arts, New York. To quote from an excerpt from an interview with the artist, "Chitra’s paintings exemplify her love of nature as well as the subjectivity of each individual’s unique pursuit of happiness. Her painting procedure often entails making mental notes of a scene in nature, including the lighting, colors, and textures. She then uses these impressions in her studio to replicate the subject matter in an abstracted form, using rich physical textures, intense colors, and varied media". As for continuity, the artist says, "In keeping with my nature theme, I want to focus on environmentally compatible materials that synchronize with our concerns on global warming and climate change issues." Recent public art commissions include the MGM Mirage, Las Vegas (please see below). Recent publications: *Article "Paintings give form to the Ephemeral", The Indianapolis Business Journal, Profile, "Women in Business" April 9-15, 2007 *"Rendezvous Artist" profile July-August 2007 issue, the Indianapolis Star newspaper’s Fishers|Geist Magazine *"Secret Success", Profile, Indianapolis Monthly Home Magazine, Summer issue, July 2006 Recent highlights: 2008: College Art Association Annual Conference 2008, Dallas, Texas, USA: Committee on Diversity Practices ( http://conference.collegeart.org/2008/sessions/day/friday#session644) Topic: "World Art: A Panhuman Narrative for Egalitarian Teaching" (Chairs: Barbara Nesin, Spelman College; Chitra Ramanathan, Indianapolis Art Center *Site-specific public art project through the Indiana Arts Commission, Indianapolis entailed creating a wall mural measuring 13.8 feet wide, 4 feet high in the lobby of Crooked Creek Elementary School, Marion County, Indianapolis, a project made possible by an art grant awarded to the school by the Indianapolis Washington Township Shool Foundation. 2007: Biography included in the 62nd edition of Marquis’ Who’s Who in America 2008 released October 2007 Member, Committee on Cultural Diversity Practices, College Art Association, New York. 2007-2010. (Active member of CAA since 1997 & Member, Services to Artists Committee from 2003-06). 2006: Solo exhibition, Indianapolis Artsgarden, January 2006 Public Art installation titled "Picture Windows 2006: Urban Interpretations", July 2006-February 2007, for the Arts Council of Indianapolis, a project supported by the Indianapolis Cultural Development Commission. 2005: Invitational visiting artist lecture at the Royal Academy of Arts, London/RA Schools, October 2005 2004: Commission for the MGM Mirage, Las Vegas, to create two 4 ft X 6 ft signed paintings based on two of her 1999 and 2000 originals, on permanent display in the Conservatory gardens of the Bellagio, Las Vegas since October 2004. http://www.bouldercitynev.com/mirage-las-vegas/archive_02_2007.php ) Philanthropy: Chitra continues to donate her original works as well as portions from sale of her paintings to social causes/charities such as the Madam C.J. Walker Art Center’s Eightieth Birthday Celebration in 2006 and the Indiana Hospice Program. Immediate plans include donating teaching art time at the Abbie Hunt Bryce Home for the terminally ill at Indianapolis. Biography from wikipedia: Born in Thiruvananthapuram, India, Chitra Ramanathan is a contemporary Indian American visual artist and educator. She produces predominantly large scale abstract conceptual mixed media paintings, drawings, prints, site-specific installation works, and sculpture that have been exhibited in art galleries in SoHo, Broadway Manhattan, New York, solo exhibition at the ARC Gallery & Educational Foundation at Chicago, and more recently a 2006 solo exhibition at the Indianapolis Artsgarden, Circle Centre. Several of her colorful mixed media paintings are with art collectors around the United States and in Europe including donation of two large scale paintings on permanent display in the conference hall of the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 1995, a painting sold at the Madam C.J. Walker Theatre Center, Indianapolis towards benefit to the Eightieth Birthday Benefit Gala Dinner-silent and live art auction in 2006 and a piece created for the Indianapolis International Film Festival 2008 based on the 1979 Hollywood movie "‘Breaking Away". Commissions include a series of post-card paintings, a commission for the Florida International University Department of Art, Miami, Florida, 2005 (to coincide with Art Basel Miami 2005) and a series of ten post-card sized paintings for the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s "Gallery of the Machine" in 2006. Recently completed commission entailed creating a permanent wall mural measuring 13.8 feet wide and 4 feet high, for the front lobby of Crooked Creek Elementary School, Marion County, Indianapolis, this March 2008 site-specific public art project made possible through a grant to the school by the Metropolitan School Foundation, a public school district in Indianapolis. Earlier site specific public art commissions and installation art projects include two large paintings for the MGM Mirage that are permanently housed inside the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Las Vegas in 2004, and five large-scale multi-media paintings for the Arts Council of Indianapolis at Chase Towers near Monument Circle Indianapolis in 2006, which is an annual project supported by the Indianapolis Cultural Development Commission. Academically, Chitra Ramanathan’s work has attracted invitational visiting artist lectures to educational institutions such as the Kansas State University art department in 2002, and the Royal Academy of Arts/Royal Academy Schools London in 2005 by current Royal Academy Keeper and Head, Professor Maurice Cockrill. Chitra earned her second Bachelors of Fine Arts in Painting with Honors in 1993 during which period she also allotted time to study Painting and Art History in Paris, France, with visits to Giverny, France that influenced her later work. She lives and works in the United States, with travels worldwide accepted for freelance projects/commissions. Trade Mark Extensive body of paintings depicting happiness as a visual entity with a "formless form" through their intense colors and complex textures Her mixed-media paintings on and behind Plexiglas Trivia 2004 site-specific public art commission for MGM Mirage to create two paintings both measuring 4 feet X 6 feet in dimension and signed by the artist are on display inside the Bellagio Conservatory, Las Vegas. They are based on an earlier 1999 and a 2000 smaller sized pieces by the artist. Her custom created large mixed media painting, based on the 1979 Hollywood film "Breaking Away", was donated towards auction for the Indianapolis International Film Festival 2008. Her mixed media painting, measuring 36 inches by 48 inches, was sold at the Madam C.J. Walker Theatre Center, Indianapolis towards benefit to the Eightieth Birthday Benefit Gala Dinner-Silent and Live Art Auction (2006). Two of her large-scale paintings are permanently displayed and owned by the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1995). Her first solo exhibition in the U.S was hosted by the ARC Gallery and Educational Foundation at Chicago in 1994. This major exhibition featured her paintings as well as sculptures and prints (monoprints and lithographs). The Chicago exhibition was followed by shows at different art galleries on Broadway, New York from 1995-1998. She coined the phrase "formless forms" to describe her visual depiction of happiness, an emotion of the mind, in her extensive body of colorful paintings with myriad textures. When she was just twelve years old, her watercolor painting was showcased in recognition of her talent at the Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Kolkatta, India, in addition to being awarded a silver trophy through the Philips India Ltd. "Parichay" Child Art Competition during an award function at the venue. She was awarded a prize in the form of a camera at the age of ten through a national child art competition by Hindustan Unilever Ltd., India. Has created drawings and paintings throughout her childhood and adolescent years. Began drawing and painting from the age of four. Has received several silver trophies from art competitions throughout her growing years. Created and presented a singed custom portrait of Balasubramaniam S.P. during his concert at Indianapolis in 2006, on behalf of the Tamil association. Created portraits and landscapes throughout her childhood. Was born in Kerala but grew up in Kolkata (then Calcutta) as a child artist, and later Chennai, India. Calls her images of happiness "formless forms", while portraying that emotion of the mind as a visual entity. She received the Liquitex "Excellence in Art" Product Grant ‘Award’ for two consecutive years (1994 and 1995) from Binney and Smith Inc., makers of Crayola crayons. Has spent a month painting and drawing entire days in Paris, France that inspired her current work. Speaks very little French. ‘Chitra’ is a Hindu name for the female child in India derived from the Sanskrit word for Portrait, Picture, or Painting. The Indianapolis Artsgarden was the venue of the most recent solo exhibition of her signature paintings. Is a fan of Mira Nair’s movies. To date, most of her signature style paintings have got sold to collectors in the state of California. Has taught courses and workshops in Acrylic painting and Mixed media painting at the Indianapolis Art Center since 2004. The major influence for her current body of work stemmed from keenly observing the gardens from inside the Claude Monet House during visits to Giverny. Her favorite painting, The Waterlily Pond, 1897. Happiness is the common thread that runs through her expressive, highly textured abstract paintings awash with bold, vibrant colors. Her biography is listed in the national directory Who’s Who in America 2008. Personal Quotes I feel happiness is like a garden. Seasons change and it’s the same with the mental state of happiness. (Optimistically) good times follow difficult phases in life - it’s a cyclical concept. I consider happiness to be irresistible, fleeting, and ephemeral. You can never really capture it but instead imagine it in so many colorful ways. I try to put these emotions down each time I set out to create. Right from the beginning, I think of the visual impact of my finished paintings being exposed to natural versus artificial light and of different times of day, because of the presence of iridescent hues in many a piece. Similarly, textures can "play" with the eye when viewed under different light settings. I have progressively explored methods to capture the best effects of color, light and texture. Color, light and texture play very important roles in my work, as well as process and minute details in the tradition of Indian Miniatures.