P. V. Janakiram (b. 1930)

P. V. Janakiram | Biography | Life | Artworks

P V Janakiram (Christ Crucified)
P V Janakiram (Christ Crucified)



According to Josef  James, if the research of Dhan Raj Bhagat, carried on over a period of forty years, could be regarded as the agenda for introspection for a modern Indian sculptor, it should not be surprising if others advanced some of the clarifications and lead that he had brought up. 

P. V. Janakiram has perhaps taken over from where Bhagat left. In sculpture, particularly in the Indian tradition, the aspect of ‘frontality’ has been very important, both in a cave and temple sculpture



Although Bhagat had settled this issue to a major extent, Janakiram advanced the concept, drawinginspiration from the ancient temple sculpture and carving of South India. 

Prompted by the situation and trends, Janakiram has chosen to create a pictorial sculpture in sheet-metal as free-standing forms and embellishing their surface with linear elements
Krishna (P. V. Janakiram)
Krishna (P. V. Janakiram)




Whereas Bhagat’s sculptures dealt with mystical concepts, Janakiram’s sculptures are a bold picturization of anthropomorphic figuration that achieves the character of icons. 

Their presentation bear the look of deities or incarnations with their details and signification. 

Through their elaborately crafted frontality, Janakiram lends an apparent indigenous character to his sculptures. However, these details are not primary to the essential grasp of volume, and thus, to the intrinsic law of sculpture. 

His technical handling of the material and details, nevertheless, reveal his meticulous craftsmanship. 
P. V. JANAKIRAM - Untitled
P. V. JANAKIRAM – Untitled 



After the mid-1960s he seems to have moved closer to the traditional mode than any other sculptor so far. 

He freely used the ‘open-mindedness’ of his forms in characteristic indigenous workmanship. But then this was his achievement as well as his limit. 

Durga (P. V. Janakiram)
Durga (P. V. Janakiram)



For, he was moving closer to the originals in the traditional imagery and their iconographic descriptions prescribed in the ancient disciplines. 

His Krishna, Shakti, Ganesha, and Christ are some typical examples of his work of the 1970s. reveals his extraordinary ability in harmonizing elaborate linear details into the overall form. 

Rider - P.V. Janakiram
Rider – P.V. Janakiram




Janakiram’s sculptures, although possess- ing a strong indigenous flavor, tend to be rather ornate in form than clarifying their identity in a contemporary sense.

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