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Artist - Vidyashankar Sthapathy
Vidyashankar  Sthapathy

Artist Name:
Vidyashankar Sthapathy

Reference Number:

Year of Birth:1938


Style: Figurative

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Born in 1938 at Karur, Vidyashankar received his regular schooling and his training in the family art at the temple town of Srirangam. The ambience was conducive to a direct absorption of the living arts as exemplified in the daily and festive celebrations of the great Vaishnava shrine.

There were other fascinating scenes of intense beauty and concentration, as Vidyashankar watched father Gowrishankar Sthapathy, the redoubtable traditionalist, hammering and chiselling pieces of granite and wood, animating them into gods and heroes, intricately pattering their ceremonial mounts and chariots. The father's craft skills and sastraic erudition were naturally imbibed by the son.

He learnt assiduously the technical formulae and the metaphysical conceptualizations of a Pre-Christian art handed down through the patrilineal practice of generations.

But Vidyashankar's career took a new turn when he decided to join the Government College of Art and Crafts,Madras. There he was to get his diploma in Fine Arts, Sculpture, and Crafts, specializing in metalwork. In 1968 he joined the Government College of Art and Crafts, Kumbakonam where he served as lecturer.

At the Madras School of Art and Crafts the influence of Devi Prasad Roy Choudhury was pronounced while Principal K.C.S. Paniker and instructor S. Dhanpal were no less influential as exemplars of the modern genre. Paniker was quick to spot the youngster's intelligent movement towards a blend of the old and the new, especially in metalcraft. While still at college he began free-standing work in beaten sheet metal which, when straightened out and displayed, combined abstraction and ornateness; played with optical illusions of hidden dimensions. It prefigured, explored, and expanded the concept of frontal sculpture and became the fountain head of a new Madras metaphor.

  • 1938 Born in Srirangam, Tiruchirapalli
  • 1962 Diploma in Fine Arts from the Government College of Art and Crafts, Madras.
  • 1976 Bombay Art Society Award
  • 1989 Regional Centre Art Exbibition of the Lalit Kala Akademi, Madras. 3rd Havana Biennale Cuba
  • 1991 The Madras Metaphor Exbibition organized by Ebrahim Alkazi of Art Heritage Gallery, New Delhi
  • 1993 National Award of Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi
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