17 February 2023


“My works are basically an investigation into the idea of what constitutes the idea of architecture in history,” says Anil Thambai who has been fascinated to build his artistic career in the peaceful environment of Kerala, portraying vivid and unusual art works.

Artist Anil Thambai initially did graduation in commerce before turning into art, completing his BFA in painting from the College of Fine Arts, Trivandrum, Kerala and MVA in painting from Faculty of Fine Arts, MS University, Baroda, Gujarat.

“My early paintings were figurative traditions on oil on canvas. Since 2015, my art practice has turned from painting to drawing based on the search for the possibilities of architecture. I find the process of creation of architecture more intriguing than the complete architecture. It is in understanding the process of building something; I realised the relevance of human labour,” says the artist Anil Thambai.

“I consider the process of making/building as a meditative process where laying one brick after the other and creating the structure and space creates a visual effect. I try bringing forth this process in my work by handling the medium of graphite, using them for creating marks in repetitive patterns over the flat surface,” the artist says.

My working process is very similar to how labourers brick by brick create these buildings which are actually inhabitable spaces. Some of my work in the interior also stems from the understanding that the exterior always hides the truth. Graphite has this sense of primordial relation with the unknown and undefined. In that sense each mark on the surface also becomes the building stone or structure of the language. My working processes are not simple about recording pasts, but illuminating a kind of multiverse that would combine past, present and future inhabitants of the space,” says artist Anil Thambai.

He exhibited in several group exhibitions such as; Brush mark on Architecture curated by Yeswant Ramamurthy at Dhi art space Hyderabad (2022), ‘Rearranging the familiar’  Curated by Premjish Achari at Art Alive Gallery Gurugram  (2022), India Art Fair for Art Alive Gallery at New Delhi (2022),  Baroda Annule at Gallery white Baroda (2021), ‘The world is one family’- Lokametharavadu  curated by Bose Krishnamachari at Alleppey Kerala( 2021) , ‘Patterns of intensity’ curated by Ranjit Hoskote at Art Alive Gallery New Delhi 2021, ‘Broken Foot’ curated by Prabhakar Kamble and Rumi Samadhan for NDTV and Mojoart 2020, Pasina at Museum of Work  Ahmedabad: (2020), ‘Rising Down’ in Palette art Gallery New Delhi (2019), Persistence of Memory in Akara art Gallery, Mumbai( 2018), Knots collective in Baroda (2018), Linda Matney Gallery Williamsburg US (2014), Samrya International fest in South Korea( 2015), Gallery Mirchandani Steinruecke, Mumbai (2014).

Artist Anil Thambai received a Junior artist fellowship from HRD ministry, Government of India in 2018 and Shrishti AIF grant 2020. 

Recently he has exhibited his works in the Exhibition – Architectonics, a group show featuring the works of four contemporary artists at Pallete Art Gallery, New Delhi.

Presently the artist lives and works in Baroda, Gujarat.

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