b - 1956
K. S. Radhakrishnan
Musui and Maiya—the thinly-fluted male and female bronze figures, often swaying or leaping in joy—are perhaps as well-known as their creator, K. S. Radhakrishnan.
One of the most significant contemporary sculptors, Radhakrishnan often refers to the bronze characters as his alter egos.
Born on 7 February 1956, in Kottayam, Kerala, Radhakrishnan found early inspiration in the works of his uncle, P. N. Narayanan Kutty. He joined the Kala Bhavana at Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan, in 1974, earning his bachelor’s in 1979; he was awarded a national scholarship by the Government of India in 1978, while still a student. He also completed his masters from Santiniketan, in 1981.
Mentored by two prominent figures of modern Indian art—Ramkinkar Baij and Sarbari Roy Choudhary— Radhakrishnan has experimented with a wide variety of materials such as molten bronze, beeswax, and plaster of paris, where the tactile, physical process of working with the material is as essential as the final work. Through his iconic bronze figures, he connects to the ordinary man’s innermost quest for expressing himself or herself through the contours and figuration of the body.
Radhakrishnan’s accolades include an award for the best sculpture award in 1980 from Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Calcutta, and a research grant the following year from the Lalit Kala Akademi to work at Garhi Studios, New Delhi. Several of his sculptures are installed around the world— Cotignac (France), London, Denmark, and Chicago, and large works have been commissioned in Dehradun, Bikaner, New Delhi, Goa, Santiniketan, and, of course, in his native Kerala. He lives and works in New Delhi.
‘Like many of his contemporaries, he is a figurative sculptor, but his preference for modelling and bronze casting over new materials sets him apart from the rest of them’
R. SIVA KUMAR
Is born on February 7 to P. N. Sreeman Unni and K. Savithrikutty in Kuzhimattom, Kottayam district, Kerala.
Pre-degree course at St. Berchmans College and degree course at N.S.S. College, Changanacherry, Kottayam.
Studies for his B.F.A. in sculpture at Kala Bhavana, Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan; is mentored by Ramkinkar Baij, among others. Meets eighteen-year-old Santhal boy Musui who sits for him for a portrait. Musui remains in the artist’s mind and, along with him his female counterpart, Maiya, will become his muse and a feature of his later works.
Participates in group show, ‘Transition’, featuring young artists, at the Academy of Fine Arts, Calcutta.
Receives invitation to participate in ‘Miniature Sculpture Show’ as part of the silver jubilee exhibition of Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi. Wins best sculpture award at annual exhibition of Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Calcutta.
Obtains M.F.A. in sculpture from Santiniketan. Wins research grant from Lalit Kala Akademi to work at its Garhi Studios, New Delhi. Settles down in New Delhi where he continues to live and work.
Participates in Lalit Kala Akademi’s national exhibition, New Delhi.
Marries artist Suchismita Chakravorty, better known as Mimi Radhakrishnan. Holds a solo exhibition at Jehangir Art Gallery, Bombay.
Works at Lalit Kala Akademi’s Garhi Studios, New Delhi.
Attends a sculpture workshop at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. Installs sculpture at Tel Bhawan, Dehra Dun. Executes two open-air sculptures in Bikaner, Rajasthan.
Holds a solo exhibition at Jehangir Art Gallery, Bombay.
Installs a sculpture at India House, London. Executes a monumental sculpture at Rae Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh.
Travels to London and Paris on a trip organised by Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.
Holds a sculpture workshop at Kanoria Centre for the Arts, Ahmedabad. Shifts his studio to Khirkee village, New Delhi.
Works at Studio Obsonville, France. Participates in International Triennale, organised by Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi.
Works on his sculptures Method and Wisdom, and Woman with the Bird at Khirkee Studio.
Solo exhibition at Centre des Bords de Marne, Le Perreux-sur-Marne, Paris. Shifts studio to Chhattarpur Farms, New Delhi.
Solo exhibition at Khirkee Gallery, New Delhi. Participates in a series of exhibitions in France, at Salon Internationale de la Sculpture Contemporaine at Nouveau Forum des Halles, Paris; at Hippodrome de Longchamp, Paris; and at Espace Michel Simon, Noisy-le-Grand.
Installs a sculpture at T.M.I. (Time Manager International) campus at Cotignac, France.
Starts working on large bronzes for T.M.I. Denmark.
Solo exhibitions at Park Royal, New Delhi, and at Apeejay Lawns, Calcutta.
Solo exhibition, ‘Song of the Road’, at International Travel House in New Delhi. Travels to the U.S. and installs sculptures in Chicago. Creates his well-known work, Maiya Post Graduate, featuring the Mohenjodaro Dancing Girl with a tablet in her hand, as a graduate of the Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan.
Participates in an international workshop on art and architecture in Khajuraho, organised by Orient Express, New Delhi. Installs open-air sculptures at T.M.I. campus in south of France.
Solo exhibition, ‘Musui Maiya’, at Shridharani Art Gallery, New Delhi, and Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi.
Participates in an artists’ workshop at Cocopalms, Puri, Orissa.
Travels to Thailand to attend an artists’ workshop at Pattaya. Installs more sculptures at T.M.I. campus, France.
Travels to Cairo and other cities in Egypt on an artists’ workshop. Installs the sculpture, Heritage Column, at Garden of Five Senses, New Delhi. Participates in group exhibitions, ‘Can’, curated by Johnny M.L.; ‘Only Connect’ at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi; ‘Nayika’ at Gallerie Ganesh, New Delhi; and at Bayer ABS Gallery, Vadodara’
Travels to Mauritius on an artists’ workshop. Holds a solo exhibition, ‘The Ramp’, at Shridharani Art Gallery, New Delhi. ‘The Ramp’ travels to Bayer ABS Gallery, Vadodara; an eponymous, accompanying book by R. Siva Kumar is published on the artist.
Travels to Istanbul, Turkey, on an artists’ workshop. Travels along the ‘silk route’, China, on a trip organised by Uttarayan Art Foundation, Vadodara. Travels to South Africa on a camp organised by Gallery Nvya, New Delhi. ‘The Ramp’ solo show travels to Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai. Solo show, ‘Unbearable Lightness of Being’, is held at India International Centre, New Delhi.
Travels to the U.S. on a trip organised by Arts India, New York. Travels to Russia on a trip organised by Art Resource Trust, Mumbai. Travels to Morocco on a trip organised by Popular Prakashan, Mumbai. Solo show, ‘Freehold’, at Museum Gallery, Mumbai. Two books on his work, both titled Freehold, are published; the one written by Ranjit Hoskote is published by Art Musings, Mumbai, and the other written by Geeti Sen is published by Art Alive, New Delhi.
Travels to Moscow and St. Petersburg in Russia on a trip organised by Gallery Nvya, New Delhi. Solo show, ‘Freehold’, is shown at Art Alive, New Delhi.
Travels to Greece on a trip organised by Popular Prakashan, Mumbai. Solo show, ‘Impudence of Musui’, at Karma Gallery, Ahmedabad. Solo show, ‘Liminal Figures, Liminal Space’, is held at Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Kolkata; the academy publishes a book with the same title on the occasion.
Another sculpture is installed at T.M.I. campus, France. Exhibition ‘Liminal Figures, Liminal Space’ is shown at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi.
Exhibition ‘Liminal Figures, Liminal Space’ travels to Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, and then to Kanakakkunnu Palace, Thiruvananthapuram, in a show organised by the Government of Kerala Government of Kerala publishes Malayalam book, K. S. Radhakrishnan, by Johnny M.L. His sculpture, Freedom to March, is displayed at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi. Participates in International Sculpture Symposium at Uttarayan Art Foundation, Vadodara.
Sculpture, Maiya is Both Arrow and Bow, is installed at Uttarayan Complex, Santiniketan, and unveiled by the President of India, Pratibha Patil. Is nominated to the executive council of Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan.
Curates a retrospective on India’s foremost modernist sculptor, and his mentor, Ramkinkar Baij, at National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi; assists in the accompanying publication, Ramkinkar Baij, authored by R. Siva Kumar, and authors the accompanying book, Ramkinkar’s Yaksha Yakshi. Solo show, ‘Ascending Figures’, at Focus Art Gallery, Chennai. ‘The Ramp Revisited’, solo show, is held at Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.
Solo show of his sculptures created over the past thirty years is held at Art Pilgrim gallery, Gurgaon.
The sculpture, Liminal Figures, Liminal Space, is exhibited at DAG’s booth at India Art Fair, New Delhi—its most public outing to date. His show, ‘Mapping with Figures: The Evolving Art of K. S. Radhakrishnan’, opens at National Gallery of Modern Art, Bangalore.
Installs open-air sculptures ‘Bahuroopi’ at Municipal Park, Kottayam, Kerala. Another iteration is installed at RMZ Foundation, Bengaluru (2018).
Panjim’s riverfront in Goa gets his public sculpture, Musui on the Portal.
His one-exhibit show, ‘Ephemera’, is organised at Art Multi-disciplines Gallery, Kolkata, featuring his bronze sculpture comprising of five boats full of people, addressing the issue of mass migration. This sculpture is born out of his participation in a two-week symposium a few months earlier in Narendrapur village of Bihar’s Siwan district, held to allow sculptors an interaction with rural audiences. Curates ‘Pillars of an Artscape’ exhibition at Nandan, Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan, on its centennial anniversary. Installs his sculpture titled Maiya Between Sky and Water at Benthuizen in The Netherlands. Installs Constitution as Flourishing Tree in the new Supreme Court complex.
His Ramp (2004) is unveiled at Ghare-Baire art museum at Old Currency Building in Kolkata in the presence of the prime minister.
The ‘Manifestations’ series of 20th Century Indian Art, Editions X, XI
DAG, New Delhi, 2014
‘Masterpieces of Indian Modern Art, Edition II’
DAG booth, India Art Fair, New Delhi, 2017
National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi
Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal
Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi
India Habitat Centre, New Delhi
Mckinsey and Company, New Delhi
Malayala Manorama Group, Kottayam
Apeejay Surendra Group, Kolkata
Genevieve & Jerry Prillaman Collection, Paris
India House, London
Nehru Centre, London
TMI Campus, South of France
23 January 2009
29 October 2015
8 April 2011
13 November 2009