GIRL ON A SWING
GIRL ON A SWING
PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT CORPORATE COLLECTION
Oil on canvas
64 7/8 x 53 3/8 in. (164.8 x 135.5 cm.)
Signed and dated 'RAMACHANDRAN / 76' lower right and further signed and dated 'RAMACHANDRAN 76' on reverse
R. Siva Kumar, A. Ramachandran: A Retrospective, New Delhi, 2003, Vol. I, p. 186, illustrated.
Rupika Chawla, A. Ramachandran Bahurupi, New Delhi, 2009, p. 126, illustrated.
Ella Datta, Face to Face - Art Practice of A. Ramachandran, Mumbai, 2007, p. 28, illustrated.
In the early 1970s Ramachandran seems to recall that Kerala was a place that was 'politically charged'. Although he was not an active member of the Communist party, like many other artists at the time, his paintings from the period were infused with a vehemently political slant, replete with social commentary. In 1975, the nuclear tests at Pokhran in Rajasthan inspired Ramachandran to create a series of paintings titled Nuclear Ragini. These works drew upon the traditional genre of Rajasthani Ragamala paintings, but unlike the joyful subjects of the classical paintings, his renditions were infused with a general sense of dread and foreboding. 'In Ramachandran's post-Pokhran retakes ...bodies are weathered and hardened by labour, and faces are turned away, or reduced to black holes wrapped in veils, the traditional call for dalliance stands withdrawn.' (R. Siva Kumar, Ramachandran a Retrospective, New Delhi, 2003, p. 181)
In the current work, painted a year later, the faceless figure remains. The mood of the work, however, has changed from the earlier sombre tones to a riot of colour, and a joyful celebration in the abundance of nature. The artist explains that even though he remained politically driven, as an artist he became concerned that his paintings might be condemned for trying to make 'rasgullas out of human tears, to sell to rich people' and so his paintings evolved both conceptually and stylistically. This change in outlook is reflected in several paintings from the same period including Yellow Robe and Dancing Girls. In reference to these three works Siva Kumar states 'Sensuality of the female figure is the subject of all three paintings...The Girl on the Swing, a motif with traditional antecedents looks the most straightforward and thematically the most familiar of this group. But woven into his oeuvre it has more importance than an independent first viewing would suggest, and adumbrates works he would do later... In the painting the forms are given greater representational clarity, but the rhythmic continuum that connects the girl with the tree is not lost either; by combining representational and decorative values they are transformed into a living arabesque, and into a symbol of exultant nature.' (ibid., p. 209)
# Import duty at 11% will be charged on the hammer price and GST will be applicable on the total amount of the hammer price plus the import duty.
About The Artist:
A. RAMACHANDRAN (b. 1935)