A retrospective exhibition of paintings and sculptures by Dhiraj Choudhury is on display from 26 July to 9 August at ARTWORLD, Sarala’s Art Centre, Ganeshapuram, off Cenotaph Road Flyover, Chennai.
It was inaugurated by M Pierre Fournier, Consul General of France on Tuesday. His ongoing 10 exhibition in Chennai is part of his 75th birthday celebration. After teaching art since 1961, he retired as professor and Head of Department from College of Art, New Delhi and currently is a member of advisory board, National Gallery of Modern Art. He has held over 75 solo exhibitions across the country, 12 solo shows in Switzerland, France, the UK, USA and Singapore.
A lone participant at Geneva with Miro and Dali, he received 15 awards for creative work, including the ‘National Award’. His collection adorns Victoria and Albert Museum, London, National Gallery of Modern Art, Lalit Kala Academy, The Indian High Commission, London and Singapore, Rashtrapati Bhavan and the Prime Minister’s house.
On his exhibition he said, 'Chennai has its own tradition, well retained and maintained. Even though the exposure to contemporary art is more nowadays, but people here support all forms of art and there are many good and progressive artists too'.
Defining art, he said, 'Every painter has an individualistic visual language, style and character of its own and my journey has indeed been long and I have enjoyed every bit of it. Nature, love and society are my inspiration and I try to depict it through my work. I do it with different styles and imagination to communicate and educate the mass and motivate youngsters.'
His paintings on canvas and sculptures at the exhibition have been shaped in bronze, woodwork and ceramics representing life in different forms. 'I grew up in Lumding, Nagaon district, Assam and eastern part of Bengal amidst lush green environs of deep forests, emerald fields, sparkling rivers and the endless sky changing its hue from dawn to dusk bringing with it new discoveries. The socio-political environment in 1940s had a huge impact on my visual language and poems and quotations by great minds like Swami Vivekananda, Tagore and Jibananda Das influenced my thoughts, work and life. I hope that my visualisation, creative endeavours and experiences in life which I have put together in this exhibition will make people understand me better as an artist and human being.'
The sculpture of a man with a medal is the one special and close to his heart apart from Goddess Kali and Durga. 'The sculpture of a winner represents the spirit of life through sustained hard work with the feeling of joy and pleasure,' he said.