Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Renowned artist K.M. Adimoolam died at his residence here on Tuesday. He was 69 and ailing for sometime. He is survived by his wife and two sons. The cremation was held on Wednesday.

Fondly called Adi among his friends, Adimoolam came to be noticed even as a student of the School of Arts and Crafts in the early 1960s. The Chennai chapter of the Lalit Kala Akademi gave its award to him for three consecutive years from 1963. During Mahatma Gandhi’s birth centenary celebrations in 1969, he came out with 100 drawings, reflecting various moods of Bapu.

His style was figurative in the beginning stages of his career. Later, it became non-representative and eventually, abstract painting. Closely associated with the little magazine movement in Tamil, he was a pioneer in the production of book covers and magazine illustrations.

Noted for indigenisation of the Abstract Expressionist heritage, Adimoolam was of the view that works of abstract painting might mean many things to viewers at different times. The amount of joy one derived by making interpretations was something that one could not get from other forms of art, according to the artist.

Winner of several awards and honours, Adimoolam received the Akademi’s national award in 1979 and the award of the Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata, in 1973.

Adi’s close friend, Achuthan Kudalur, himself a leading painter, says Adi’s line drawings were famous for penetrative power.

The way he handled space in abstract painting was magical. He modified the Tamil script and gave a new face to it.