V. Viswanadhan
V. Viswanadhan V. Viswanadhan V. Viswanadhan V. Viswanadhan V. Viswanadhan

V. Viswanadhan

V. Viswanadhan

V. Viswanadhan

b - 1940

V. Viswanadhan

Among artists, Velu Viswanadhan is often referred to as ‘Paris’ Viswanadhan because he made the French capital his home.

Born in 1940 in Kollam, Kerala, Viswanadhan joined Government College of Fine Arts, Madras in 1960, where he studied under K. C. S. Paniker, and along with him became a founding member of the Cholamandal Artists’ Village.

In 1967, Viswanadhan participated in Biennale de Paris, and settled in the city the following year. By then, he had already formulated his concept of space, tantric mandalas, and geometric forms, but in time arrived at a new synthesis, narrowing the existing polarities between the East and the West. Though his use of colour remained bold and warm as before, he re-examined his interpretation of space after coming in contact with contemporary Western art—freeing space from the esoteric notions of geometrical figurations, he began to interpret space as time.

Viswanadhan’s engagement with various mediums is blended with his understanding of light and colour, one he has explored in his films as well. Saturated with reds and greens, mauves and crimsons, his works evoke memories inextricably linked with a life lived in different geographical spaces.

Inspired by music, Viswanadhan admits that for him drawings are like liberated sound: ‘When they are earthbound, they are like drums. The saxophone and flute are air-bound.’ Widely exhibited and collected across Europe, Viswanadhan lives and works in Paris and maintains his studio in Cholamandal.

‘A painting is neither an object nor a resemblance. It is a non-object, an image that beholds the power, the presence. It does not represent, it does not reproduce. It exists. Nothing is less immaterial than a painting’



dag exhibitions

'Viswanadhan: Early Years'

DAG, New Delhi, 2007

The ‘Manifestations’ series of 20th Century Indian Art, Editions V, VI

DAG, New Delhi, 2011

‘The Printed Picture: Four Centuries of Indian Printmaking’

DAG, New Delhi,2012; Mumbai, 2016; alternate locations in Kolkata, 2013; Jaipur, 2017; Chandigarh, 2018

‘Memory & Identity: Indian Artists Abroad’

DAG, New Delhi and New York, 2016; Mumbai, 2017

‘India’s French Connection: Indian Artists in France’

DAG, New Delhi, 2018; New York, 2018-19

‘Madras Modern: Regionalism and Identity’

DAG, Mumbai, 2019

'Tantra On The Edge'

DAG, New Delhi, 2022

notable collections

National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi

Bharat Kala Bhavan, Bhopal

Birla Art Academy, Calcutta

Mysore State Museum, Bangalore

Punjab University, Chandigarh

Centro de Bellas Artes, Maracaibo, Venezuela

Chateau-Musée de Cagnes-sur-Mer, France

Musée d’Art Moderne de la ville de Paris, France

Pfalz Galerie, Kaiserslautern, Germany

archival media

Sunday Mid-Day

12 January 1992

The Indian Express

24 October 1993

The Sunday Observer

30 April 1995

The Hindu

26 July 1998

Hindustan Times

26 September 2005