Chitra Ramanathan's intensely colorful, intricately textured paintings embody happiness as a visual entity with a 'formless form". They are widely collected by individuals worldwide, and have been site-specific commissioned for public art venues.
Established visual artist, educator and muralist Chitra Ramanathan’s widely collected paintings have been acquired by individuals within the United States, Europe and India, and commissioned for different permanent and temporary public art installations in the United States to date. Her unique body of paintings that has produced delight, inspiration and peace to lovers and owners of Ramanathan’s artwork, that are inspired by short-lived garden blooms and cyclical seasons both of which she compares with the continually evolving, ephemeral, fleeting happiness' "formless form", a phrase she coined to describe her concept.
The artist's acrylics and mixed media paintings, many of which are large-scale, are uniquely characteristic of intense colors and multiple layers of varied textural materials that interact with light. They have been described as “tactile works that resonate with a quiet harmony” by Manhattan Arts, New York, where several galleries exhibited her work on Broadway, Soho, New York in solo and group exhibitions since 1995 following a solo exhibition in Chicago in 1994.
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.
Drawing and painting from a very early age, Chitra Ramanathan made her foray into art at a weekend art school for children in Kolkata, India when she was four years old. She entered competitions throughout her growing years through several of which she earned prizes and recognition.
The early successes led to her seeking higher education by earning a Bachelors degree in Fine Arts from Stella Maris College, Chennai India. After moving to the United States she continued her education in art and earned a second Bachelors degree in Painting with honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1993, followed by a M.B.A in Human Resources and Art Museum Administration in 1997 combined with a summer internship at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, Broadway, New York in 1996. During her undergraduate years, she allotted time to study painting and French art history in Paris, France with extended time spent at Claude Monet's garden in Giverny, France and other parts of Europe that influenced her later work.
The artist returned to France in 2010, accepting an invitation from Artistay.org affiliated to the UNESCO, for a self-directed artist residency at Camac Centre D’Art at Marnay-sur Seine near Paris, completing her month long work in April 2010 by returning to Giverny.
An invitational solo retrospective solo exhibition of her work took place at the Indianapolis Arts Garden, downtown Indianapolis, USA in 2006, closely following a Visitor Artist tour to the Royal Academy of Arts, London, England to which institution RA Keeper and Head Maurice Cockrill invited the artist for a presentation and talk on her thematic work as well as conduct critiques at the RA Schools in 2005.
* Permanent wall mural for children measuring 13.8 feet wide, 4 feet located front lobby of Crooked Creek Elementary School in Marion County, Indianapolis, Indiana - site-specific public art project made possible through a grant to the school in 2008
* Five large-scale mixed-media paintings commissioned by the Arts Council of Indianapolis displayed at Chase Towers, Monument Circle, downtown Indianapolis from 2006 to 2007 as part of 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
*Permanent site-specific installation of a pair of 4 feet x 6 feet, signed paintings based on earlier works, housed inside the Bellagio Conservatory indoor botanical garden of the Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada in 2004, a commission by MGM Mirage, Las Vegas
* Pair of paintings measuring 58 in. x 62 in, and 38 in. x 48 in. on permanent display in the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Champaign, Illinois since 1996.
Ramanathan is a current member of Americans for the Arts, as well as the Matt Robert Arts, London and S1 Artspace, Sheffield, United Kingdom. She served in the Commitee for DIversity Practices and the Services for Artists Committee of the College Art Association, New York.
She teaches classes in various painting mediums at the Art School of the Vero Beach Museum of Art, Florida, USA.
Selected visiting artist tours:
Mixed media workshop, San Diego Art Institute, California, USA. Date to be announced.
Royal Academy of Arts, London, U.K (details above)
Visiting artist slide lecture,Department of Art at Kansas State Manhattan, Kansas, USA 2002
Selected Books/Magazine/Journal publications:
* International Dictionary of Artists - Artists' Reference Book, First Edition, 2011. Museum quality. Language: English. Full Color. Size: 10" x 13" inches or 25 x 33 cm.Hard cover. Curator: Despina Tunberg
Publisher: World Wide Art Books
5383 Hollister Ave, # 140
93111 Santa Barbara CA
Tel / fax +1 805 683 3899
* International Contemporary Artists vol I - Ramanathan, Chitra, p.118,
Publisher: Publisher: Lemonidou Eve; 1st edition (October 24, 2010)
Lemonidou Eve (Author), Eve Lemonidou (Editor), Olga Antoniadou (Editor)
In. Co. Artists Books
US: 9 Columbus Avenue, NYC, NY 10024, US
EU: Athens Towers, 2-4 Messogion Av. Athens 115 27, GR
http://www.amazon.com/. Paperback: 272 pages
Price: 117 USD
* Biography, Marquis Publications Who’s Who in America 2008, 62nd Edition
* “The Artists Bluebook 2004", Directory of American Artists from the 16th Century to August 2004"- by Lonnie Pierson Dunbier, Editor, www.askART.com "Books on this artist"
* Interview/profile: ”Paintings Give Form to the Ephemeral” by Della Pacheco, the Indianapolis Business Journal, Section: Women in Business, April 9-15, 2007
* Profile: “Secret Success”, Indianapolis Monthly Home Magazine, July 2006
Abstract, a publication of the College Art Association "World Art: A Panhuman Narrative for Egalitarian Teaching" Co Chair, Art History Session: Presentation: "World Art: A Panhuman Narrative for Egalitarian Teaching" by Barbara Nesin and Chitra Ramanathan, Committee on Diversity Practices- College Art Association (http://www.collegeart.org/) 96th Annual Conference, Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, USA 2008.
Future and ongoing interests:
*Art direction, set creation/set design/set construction projects to design, build, construct and paint custom props, creating murals.
*Consult and develop themes, accept commissions for corporate or non- profit organizations (please view videos and images of completed public art on this site)