Visual Arts: Constructions/Collage, Media and Visual Communications, Mixed Media, Murals, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Visual Arts Instructor, Works on paper
Contemporary visual artist-Painter, Muralist, Art educator.
Chitra Ramanathan’s paintings are influenced by the fleeting character of cyclical seasons & short-lived flora created in a spontaneous, intuitive style.
Contemporary visual artist Chitra Ramanathan’s unique, predominantly large-scale body of acrylics and mixed-media paintings portray the mental emotion of happiness as a visual entity through her unique rendering of multiple layers of textures that attract light from various angles, pushing the boundaries of her paintings beyond the confines of their two-dimensional surfaces. The distinguished artist’s unique work is 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 the artist has been known to have coined to describe the 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”.
The professional contemporary artist earned her Bachelors of Fine Arts degree majoring in Painting with honors in 1993, and her M.B.A degree with concentrations in Art Museum Administration and Human Resources in 1997 both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. During her student years, she spent an extensive period of time studying art in Paris, France. The experience paved the way for her future abstract paintings that compare the emotion of happiness as cyclical and fleeting to ephemeral garden blooms. Combined with an expressionistic style, the concept is influenced by the Impressionist Movement particularly Claude Monet’s paintings which make Chitra Ramanathan’s work unique.
The artist’s working process, including large installations evolves continually with each developing piece. The luminous surfaces are treated with primarily acrylic mediums or mixed media, often dense with collaged imagery and cutting-edge techniques learned through educational avenues such as art conferences. Her experience serving as committee member (Committee for Diversity Practices, 2007-2010 and Services to Artists, 2003-2006) of the College Arts Association, New York, and professional artist residencies at organizations in France and Italy in recent years have been compelling factors.
An art educator as well, Chitra Ramanathan was invited by the Head of the Royal Academy of Arts, London, U.K in 2005 as Vsiter Artist where she presented a talk and visual presentation of her unique body of work and provided student critiques at the attached Royal Academy Schools.
Chitra Ramanathan’s paintings and biography have been featured in magazine and book publications including Who’s Who in America, Askart.com, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB), International Contemporary Artists, Vol 1. available on Amazon.com, the Indianapolis Business Journal, Luxury Real Estate Magazine and others.
– IMDb Mini Biography By: Biography
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 a 2006 solo exhibition at the Indianapolis Artsgarden, Circle Centre, Indianapolis to name a few.
Several of her colorful mixed media paintings are owned by individuals and corporate 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 a favorite Hollywood movie “‘Breaking Away 1979′”.
Commissions include a series of post-card paintings which was a commission for the Florida International University art department, Miami, Florida in 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 which is a public school district in Indianapolis.
Earlier site specific public art commissions and installation art projects awarded 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. The artist returned to France in April 2010, accepting a invitation to complete a self-directed artist residency at Marnay-sur Seine, completing her month long work in April 2010 with a trip back to Giverny.