TAMIL NADU

This artist will take the past any time

Dhiraj Choudhuri is in city to take part in the Taj Group's Art Adda

Meera Mohanty

CHENNAI: During a visit to Chennai in 1991, Dhiraj Choudhuri sketched the office of The Hindu. The pen and ink drawing, rendered in a style reminiscent of the eminent artist's sketches of other cities, finds a place in his catalogue "Freedom of Expression: 1955 to 2005."

Mr. Choudhuri's five eventful decades as a painter are going to be showcased early next month in a major retrospective exhibition that will be held in Bangalore. He is in the city to take part in the Taj Group's Art Adda, which is being held in association with The Hindu Metro Plus, ABN AMRO and Artworld. The art camp has brought 22 painters under one platform in the city.

This time, the kurta-clad veteran artist spent a fair bit of time on Chennai's roads, capturing vignettes of the city's life and its monuments. He sketched The Hindu office once again, this time from a different angle. Other pen and ink drawings include that of the Central Railway Station, Kapaleeshwar Temple, the Marina, St. Andrews Church, etc. These sketches have a life of their own but will be used as the foundation for a special canvas on the city of Chennai.

The 4-by-4 acrylic painting will come under the hammer on September 30 at Taj Coromandel during an auction of the paintings completed during the `Art Adda.'

"Modern buildings don't do much for me, it's the old buildings that fascinate me.

With all their history and beautiful architecture, it's the buildings that make Kolkata different from Chennai, or Chennai from Delhi," says Dhiraj Choudhury. "Chennai is lucky not only to have so many monuments and historical buildings but also such a beautiful beach."

The artist, who retired as professor in 1996 from the Delhi College of Arts, exhibited alongside Joan Miro and Salvador Dali in Geneva in 1976 and held more than 100 solo shows in India and 20 internationally. He has also published two books of his sketches, "South of France through a painter's eye" and "Singapore," and will be out with a book of his sketches and drawings in India soon.

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