A P Santhanaraj (b. 1932-2009)
Santhanaraj studied at College of Arts and Crafts, Madras, started teaching there
in 1958 and was its Principal till his retirement.
One of the most distinctive aspects of AP Santhanaraj’s style is the quality of
line. He explored this element endlessly, creating a unique visual language, never
accepting a preconceived form. Interestingly, the artist always painted his canvases
flat on the ground, working on it from all angles – a measure of his unconventional,
uninhibited thinking process. For Santhanaraj, colors too were an inspiration, not
with their emotive quality but rather the atmosphere they exuded.
His exhibitions included Kumar Gallery in 1958; various State and National art
exhibitions; Commonwealth art exhibition in London; one man shows, Kumar
Gallery, 1996 and 2001; A Retrospective at Delhi by C.M.C., 1990. He was
recognized widely –
Various awards for his works since 1953 and National Award in 1957 and 1962;
executed portraits for the Parliament House, New Delhi and murals for the
Madras State Museum 1962; Tamil Nadu State Lalit Kala Akademi Award, 1982 and
Kalai Chemmal Award 1987; Commissioner for painting for the Brazil Triennale,
1988; Kalamamani Shiromani Award by Tamil Nadu Government 1996; and Kala
Ratna Award by All India Fine Arts & Crafts Society, 1997.

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