He will soon hold an expo of art works in New Delhi

Sitting on a sofa at his sister V.G Parvathi’s home in Arundelpet, Siramdasu Venkata Rama Rao, known popularly as S.V Rama Rao, is a man at peace with himself.

The Chicago-based Indian artist, who had the world of art raving at his non-figurative paintings - is shortly holding an exhibition of his art works in New Delhi, is just rounding off a short jaunt to Krishna and Guntur Districts, which include a visit to his native village of Gudiwada , Tenali and Vijayawada.

What inspired this genius to compete with the likes of Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, Georges Bracque?

What stoked his imagination to blend the pastel shades of European art and primary colours and winding forms of India’s miniature tradition? It is Krishna river, with undulating flow, sluicing through the dams and gushing into the ocean.

“I have always been fascinated with the panoramic view of Krishna river from atop Indrakeeladri. I tried to bring out the river in my painting,’’ Mr. Rama Rao said.

His art titles like, “Flowing River in Red Earth,’’ “River in the Moonlight,’’ and “Green River in a Black Forest,’’ are testimony to the endearing appeal of rivers in his paintings.

Rama Rao has his tutelage under K. Venugopal and traditional artist K. Srinivasulu in Chennai and caught the attention of progressive art director Madhavapeddi Gokhale. After joining Madras School of Arts and Crafts, he met K.C.S. Pannikar, a modern expressionist painter.


His life changed after he secured a Commonwealth Fellowship in 1962, where he set himself an ambition, “to compete with the best artists in the world, the likes of Pablo Picasso,’’ and chose abstract art as the medium to realise his goal.

Since then he never looked back. Rama Rao signed off from UK in style after winning the Lord Croft Award and soon his works found their way to leading art galleries in the world such as,

Tate Gallery in London, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Awards poured in from India too. He was honoured with Padma Shri by former president K.R Narayanan in 2001 and was mentioned by former President A.P.J Abdul Kalam in his 200th address to Rajya Sabha.

“I wanted to create a new style and became a master in Lithography. I chose the wood to draw my paintings - which is an European medium and merged Western and Eastern art forms. But I have never exhibited in India and that is why I chose New Delhi to return to my soil,’’ Rama Rao rounded off.

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