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  • Chitrakoodam: An exhibition celebrating the life and art of one of Kerala’s most distinguished artists, C.N. Karunakaran

    Published on March 1, 2024

     Bengaluru  – Sandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation, Bengaluru and Palette People, Kochi, are honoured to present “Chitrakoodam: A Tribute to C.N. Karunakaran,” a comprehensive exhibition celebrating the life and art of one of Kerala’s most distinguished artists, C.N. Karunakaran.

    Running from February 26 to March 31, this exhibition is set to showcase the prolific work of an artist who played a pivotal role in the modern art movement of independent India. The exhibition will be showcased at Mezzanine Level, 38 Maini Sadan, 7th Cross Lavelle Road, Bengaluru 560001.

    Born in 1940 in the serene village of Brahmakulam, Kerala, C.N. Karunakaran embarked on a journey of artistic discovery that led him to the Government School of Arts and Crafts, Madras. Under the mentorship of D.P. Roy Choudhari and K.C.S. Paniker, Karunakaran honed his skills in design and painting, eventually emerging as a beacon of modernity and creativity. His early challenges, including the loss of the use of one leg due to typhoid, did not deter him; rather, they fuelled his determination to pursue art with even greater passion.

    Karunakaran’s career is a testament to his versatility and innovation. After initially painting seashells for sale and working occasionally for the cinema industry, he returned to Kerala in 1970, where he continued to push the boundaries of his art within the regional framework. In 1973, he founded Chithrakootam, Kerala’s first private art gallery, marking a significant milestone in his career and in the cultural landscape of the state.

    The exhibition “Chitrakoodam: A Tribute to C.N. Karunakaran” is named after this influential gallery and seeks to honour Karunakaran’s legacy through a selection of his most memorable works. Visitors will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in his abstract landscapes, figurative pieces, and works that draw from the Kerala mural and miniature traditions, showcasing his distinctive style and contribution to Indian art.

    C.N. Karunakaran’s accolades include the Madras Lalitha Kala Academy award, multiple Kerala Lalitha Kala Academy awards, the P.T. Bhaskara Paniker Award, the Malayattoor Ramakrishnan Award, and the Ravi Varma Puraskaram Award. His exhibitions spanned globally, with notable solo exhibitions in Brazil, the USA, and Kuwait, underscoring his international appeal and influence.

    The Sandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation invites art lovers, scholars, and the general public to join us in celebrating the legacy of C.N. Karunakaran, an artist whose life and work continue to inspire and resonate with many. “Chitrakoodam: A Tribute to C.N. Karunakaran” is not just an exhibition; it is a journey through the life of an artist who witnessed and contributed to the evolution of modern Indian art.


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