Jagdish Swaminathan


J. Swaminathan was a foremost Indian artist, poet and also a writer of colossal character. Despite being a member of the Communist Party of India, Jagdish Swaminathan had ample time to spawn masterpieces. Till date, he remains to be one of the most significant artists of India.

Swaminathan was born in the year 1928 on the 21st of June in Simla. He attended school in Delhi and went ahead to join a pre-medical course that he left mid-way. Thereafter, he moved to Kolkata and continued doing some odd-jobs for his day-to-day living.

His untimely demise in the year 1994 came as shocking news for the global art fraternity.

Education & Work

Jagdish attended evening classes at the Delhi Polytechnic, Kashmere Gateto pursue art education. Over here, he was trained by eminent artists namely Sailoz Mukherjee and Bhabesh Chandra Sanyal. However he had to discontinue these classes for he could not handle the stress of double shifts.

1957 witnesses Jagdish as an enrolee at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland. He successfully completed the course and returned to India in the year 1960. This is when he conducted his first everchief exhibition. Display items included all the graphic masterworks and oil paintings of Jagdish; other artists like P.K. Razadan and N. Dixit also participated in this exhibition. By the year 1969, Jagdish had quit journalism and had made art his full-time profession.

The late 50's saw Jagadish blooming as a fully-fledged artist. It was then that he began to devote his entire time and energy towards his masterworks. All his works radiated minimalism that was truly charismatic for an onlooker. Even today, art connoisseurs across the globe commend Jagadish’s works and artistic foresight.

His artworks are a vivacious imagery of bright hues that actually eulogized the rise of an inner being over the quotidian humdrum. Successively, he proceeded towards creation of well-ordered colored works of brilliance that comprised of neat brush strokes and also paved the path for the usage of symbols. A luminous interpretation of Jagdish’s paintings throw light upon the fact that tribal arts had had an influence upon his works. Thereafter, he began finger-painting to attain a spectacular effect.

The mid-50's witnessed Jagadish as an active member of CPI. He also took up a job as a journalist for Left magazines. Gradually, he acquired the role of an art critic. In August 1962, he founded the "Group 1890" and his team put up their solitary show back in 1963, which was the only exhibition by the group. But Jagadish never gave up and as a solo artist, he eventually participated in 31 shows across India. He also partook a number of international exhibitions.

Swaminathan founded an art museum "Roopanker" at the Bharat Bhavan in Bhopal and served as an active Director over there till 1990.

Awards and Accolades

His project "The Significance of the Traditional Numen in Contemporary Art"earned him the prestigious Nehru Fellowship. He was appointed as a member of the International Jury at Sao Paolo Biennale. Later he became a trustee at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts

View Similar Theme Artworks