About Chitra Ramanathan | Happy Paintings
Contemporary visual artist, art educator and muralist Chitra Ramanathan's extensive body of work express her ongoing creative journey through a unique body of paintings which has produced delight, inspiration and peace to lovers and owners of her artwork. The artist's acrylics and mixed-media paintings, many of them very large, are uniquely characteristic of intense colors and multiple layers of varied textural materials that interact with light to "challenge the boundaries of their two-dimensional surfaces". They are inspired by short-lived garden blooms and cyclical seasons both of which the artist compares with the continually evolving, ephemeral, fleeting happiness' "formless form": a phrase she has coined to describe her concept. Hints of circles signify the human life-cycle which allude to trying times followed by happy phases, as a continuous cycle of life and rebirth influenced by her roots from India.
Painted on diverse surfaces be they canvas, plexiglas, linen, paper or anodized aluminum, viewers experience the illusion of the images extending beyond the confines of their otherwise two-dimensional surfaces under any light situation. Her work explores color, form and line that emerge as �formless forms� as she calls her abstracted images that mysteriously peek out of colorful details, while hints at circles that are also an integral part of her work signify the human life cycle. As a whole, her compositions and assemblages present an ongoing dialogue that offers endless possibilities to the viewer imagination.
A month-long solo retrospective exhibition of a large selection from her body of work was invited for the Indianapolis Artsgarden, near Monument Circle in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA in January 2006, closely following a visitor artist tour at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, England to which institution, present RA Keeper and Head Professor Maurice Cockrill invited the artist to a presentation of her body of work, and to conduct student tutorials for a week at the RA Schools in October 2005.
Completed invitational commissions:
* Permanent childrens' wall mural measuring 13.8 feet wide, 4 feet located front lobby of Crooked Creek Elementary School in Marion County, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. A site-specific public art project made possible through a grant to Crooked Creek Elementary School in Marion County, Indianapolis in Indiana, USA. Completed: 2008
* Five large-scale mixed-media paintings commissioned by the Arts Council of Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, exhibited at Chase Towers, Monument Circle, downtown Indianapolis from July 2006 to February 2007. An annual project of the Arts Council of Indianapolis supported by the Indianapolis Cultural Development Commission to promote the city of Indianapolis as a cultural destination.
*Commission by MGM Mirage: permanent site-specific installation, pair of 4 ft x 6 ft signed paintings based on earlier works, housed in the Caf� Bellagio in the Bellagio Conservatory indoor botanical garden of the Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Installed in 2004
* Pair of paintings measuring 58 in. x 62 in. & 38 in. x 48 in., permanent display, College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Champaign, Illinois, USA, gift to the college in 1996.
“Everything surrounding me feeds into my inspiration which then transcends to my work - my love for reading, listening to music, travels - everything that can make a positive impact.." the artist has said. “What’s amazing about experiences is that feelings and responses work together to transform into art that becomes a reality that can be seen and possessed. I have always wanted to be an artist and happy that I succeeded in becoming one".