M. V. Devan

15 Jan 1928
29 Apr 2014
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Madathil Vasudevan, popularly known as M. V. Devan (January 15, 1928 – April 29, 2014), was an Indian painter, sculptor, writer, art critic and orator.[1] He was born in Panniyannur village in Thalassery in northern Kerala. After completing high school in 1946, he left for Madras (now Chennai) to study painting. He learned the basics of painting at the Government School of Arts and Crafts, Madras under the likes of Debi Prasad Roy Chowdhury and K. C. S. Paniker.

These stalwarts influenced his life and painting to a large extent. At this time, he came into to contact with M. Govindan, who helped in changing his perspective on life and thinking.

After coming back from Madras, he joined as staff artist at the Mathrubhumi daily in Kozhikode. From 1952 to 1961 he worked there. Apart from illustrations, he had contributed reviews, articles and features on art and paintings to the weekly. Again, he went back to Madras and soon joined the ‘Southern Languages Book Trust’ as art consultant. He worked there from 1961 to 1962.

He continued his pursuit of art with Madras Lalit Kala Akademi from 1962 to 1968, New Delhi Lalit Kala Akademi (66 to 68), Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore (FACT) (as art consultant from 1968 to 1972). He was made the Chairman of Kerala Lalithakala Akademi from 1974 to 1977.

During this time, he established an organization called Perunthachan, which dealt with the consultancy in the housing sector.

He was also the founder member and present Chairman of Kerala Kalapeedom, where he tutored and encouraged many young painters such as T. Kaladaran.[2] He also played a major role in establishing Malayala Kalagramam at Mahé. He was associated with literary publications such as Navashakti, Gopuram, Sameeksha, Kerala Kavita and Jwala. A collection of critical essays titled Devaspandanam is considered his magnum opus.

He died of age-related ailments on 29 April 2014 at his residence in Aluva, Kerala.

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