Vivan Sundaram

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Vivan Sundaram
Born (1943-05-28) 28 May 1943 (age 79)
Alma materMaharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda
Slade School of Fine Art, London
SpouseGeeta Kapur

Vivan Sundaram (born 28 May 1943) is an Indian contemporary artist. His parents were Kalyan Sundaram, Chairman of Law Commission of India from 1968 to 1971, and Indira Sher-Gil, sister of noted Indian modern artist Amrita Sher-Gil. He is married to art historian and critic Geeta Kapur.


Sundaram was educated at The Doon School, the Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, and at Slade School of London.[1][2][3] In London he met the British-American painter R. B. Kitaj,[4] under whom he trained for some time.


People watching an illustration named Black Gold done by Vivan for Kochi-Musris Binale

Sundaram works in many different media, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, installation and video art, and his work is politically conscious and highly intertextual in nature.[citation needed] His works in the 1980s showed a tendency towards figurative representations, and dealt with problems of identity. His works constantly refer to social problems, popular culture, problems of perception, memory and history. He was among the first Indian artists to work with installation.[5] His latest installations and videos often refer to his artistic influences, among them are Dadaism, Surrealism, as well as more recent Fluxus[4] and the works of Joseph Beuys.

Re-take of ‘Amrita’ is a series of black and white digital photomontages based on archival photographs from the Sher-Gil family. The original photographer was Sundaram's grandfather Umrao Singh. Sundaram reconfigured the photographs and recast the family in new roles, retelling family history.[6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Skoda Prize 2012
  2. ^ "'Amrita comes across as an opinionated, precocious, driven young woman; a talented artist clearly in a hurry'". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. 21 February 2010.
  3. ^ Vivan Sundaram
  4. ^ a b Vivan Sundaram
  5. ^ Amrita Jhaveri: A Guide to 101 Modern & Contemporary Indian Artists. India Book House: Mumbai 2005, p. 90. ISBN 81-7508-423-5.
  6. ^ Amrita Jhaveri: A Guide to 101 Modern & Contemporary Indian Artists. India Book House: Mumbai 2005, p. 91. ISBN 81-7508-423-5.
  7. ^ "Vivan Sundaram's Re-take of 'Amrita'" (PDF). IIAS (International Institute for Asian Studies). Retrieved 9 September 2012.

External links[edit]