Born in 1935 in Kerala, A. Ramachandran graduated with a degree in Malayalam Literature from Kerala University before pursuing a Diploma in Fine Arts and Crafts from Kala Bhavan, VisvaBharati University at Santiniketan. Deeply influenced by Nandalal Bose, Ramachandran makes a strong case for Indian aesthetics and for the use of classical Indian images to articulate an ideological position. The painter converted to using archetypal Indian imagery only after years of painting in the modernist vein. Deeply influenced by the prevalent socio-political situation in Kerala, his early works represented oppression, violence, war. Human figures were dismembered, most of them headless.
Ramachandran believes that his monumental painting ‘Yayati’ was one of the landmarks in his growth as an artist, because it allowed him to incorporate elements of classical proportions and postures in his work. Executed as a narrative, it compelled Ramachandran to use Indian mythological imagery in a contemporary form.
Ramachandran was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 2005 and the Raja Ravi VermaPuraskar by the Government of Kerala in 2003.
The artist lives and works in New Delhi and Kochi.