Monday, September 21, 2009

An Indian Modernist—D.K.Roy Choudhery

An IndianModernist—D.K.Roy Choudhery

In the dust of time settle great till someone with discerning eyes take the dust off. I look around me a mad rush and networking to proclaim in a cacophony of market place even flying-in-the-wind pieces as great art, but there were others who worked a lifetime to explicate from the deeper recesses of their souls to give us lasting and refreshing art. They were not daunted by the exigencies of the market place; they painted what emerged from deep within.
One such was D K Roy Chowdhury. His students from college of art Delhi or Kolkata and his colleagues likewise say he was one exceptional—as a human as a teacher and as an artist. He was unassuming about his creations or may be what he created was so way ahead of times that he did not bother about appreciation.
The present exhibition titled ‘An Indian Modernist’ is mounted at Studio Vasant. It has a cross section of his works. From watercolours done in softer floats of colour to life studies and minimalist and expressionist near-abstractions, he did it all.

The water colours carry the stamp of mastery that can emerge from Kolkata alone Look at his soft musical rendition in Landscape-IV and Landscape-II .The Landscape-III and ‘Snow’ are semi-abstract warm orange and yellow sunny landscapes and. in more ways than one are kindred with landscapes of Ganesh Holoi. The loving care with which he handles portraits is visible for example when you see ‘A portrait of a hill girl’. The amazing ease with which he jumps from academism to creative freedom can be seen in works like ‘Children at play’ and ‘Face of a lady.’ reminding one of Matisse’s portrait of his wife. His minimalist Symbolist expression is at its zenith in works like ‘Breeze’, ‘Evening’, and Desertscape’.
Lest you may miss, look at Roy Chowdhury’s example of very contemporary abstraction. His grid like compositions with thick moody brush in ‘Juxtaposed’, ‘Boundless energy’, Urbanscape, leave you asking for more. He to me is an Indian Robert Motherwell whose large canvasses in The MoMa New York Stunned me into submission with the seductive dark and black line work. Ram Kumar romances colours in his abstract landscapes while Roy Choudhery renders silence with his muted frugal palette (see his Hill View) and we love both.
A wide range of creativity from form based to abstraction by this versatile artist are in line with the contemporary German artist Gerhard Richter who works very realistic smudged portraits to total abstract celebration of colour rhythms.
This is an exhibition that should not be missed for historical context, and a landmark art that has incidentally gone largely unrecognized but holds high aesthetic value.

Viktor Vijay Kumar

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