C. Douglas

Born in Kerala 1951, C. Douglas is one of the most collected artists of the Madras Art Movement. He retains the essence of Kerala in the form of theories and words read during his boyhood and the story of an early encounter with existential literature. He attended Balan Nair’s school for a year. During the period, he met K Damodaran in Tellicherry. In 1971, he took admission at the Government College of Arts and Crafts, Madras, where he worked with terracotta and ceramic vases. During his college years, he began spending his weekends at Cholamandal Artists’ village, near Chennai, where he came in contact with K Ramanujam.

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Ramanujam’s death in 1973, Douglas’ own relocation from the Cholamandal Artist’s village to Germany, where he was caught between the art and the real world, brought about a change in his outlook as an artist. Germany taught him the importance of painters like Paniker and Ramanujam through their lens. It was in Germany that he was exposed to the genre of abstract surrealism. From 1985 to 1995, he turned to figurative abstractions, and his works speak volumes about modernist poetry. He worked with paper, cloth, sand tea stain, and he would often walk on the paper, and crumple it in order to create a surface of his own. There is an assumption that the man with bandages on his head in the Douglas’ series, Missed Call (2008), is a self-portrait.

The artist lives and works in Chennai. 

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