Lot 66
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The Art of Adimoolam

AUTHOR: Gayatri Sinha
PUBLISHER: Mapin Publishing
PLACE: Ahmedabd
YEAR: 2006
BINDING: Hardcover with slip case
Height: 12 in (30.5 cm)
Width: 9 in (22.9 cm)
Depth: 0.5 in (1.3 cm)

This book has a signed drawing by the artist in it

"Child or middle-aged man, my heart and mind are filled with nature, at every moment. It is a wonderful experience; this love and awe that provoke my ever creative and anxious mind to penetrate the reality that lies beyond our vista. Thus, my canvases mirror my mind's journey through Nature - not as realistic landscapes or seascapes but planes of colors creating an esoteric aura on a transcendental level. For two decades, my concept has been evolving unilaterally with mere technical innovation and a different exploitation of hues.”

Color is what fascinates K. M. Adimoolam. It is this and not any specific imagery that Adimoolam uses to interpret nature, making his paintings abstract renditions of the natural world purely through color.

Born in 1938 in Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu, K. M. Adimoolam’s natural aptitude for drawing at an early age made him move to Chennai in 1959. There, under the influence of the sculptor Dhanapal, he enrolled in the School of Arts and Crafts. After completing his Diploma in Advanced Painting in 1966, Adimoolam started a series of black and white portraits of Mahatma Gandhi. Sketching from photographs of the great man, he finished nearly a hundred drawings that moved over 60 years of the Mahatma’s life.

At about this time, he came in contact with Tamil writers and began an association with them, illustrating their works after which he took up oil painting. Color came into his life, causing him to move from the figurative to the abstract. Adimoolam now works with equal ease at drawing and painting, combining the two to produce a large body of work.

"My drawings and paintings help to express my feelings. My drawings are not the exact copy of what I have seen through my eyes; but I feel they are the impressions of beauty, which are constantly imprinted on my inner vision and emerge as black and white forms on paper," he expresses. Reminiscent of an age long gone, his sketches are a constant search for greater freedom of expression and serve as an outlet for his creative energy. They capture the essence of the subject in all its glory, and yet leave something to the imagination with shadowy faces.

"My canvases are neither representative of nature nor the perception of my mind. My works are not bound with words; they are purely concerned with vision. A vision that tries to reveal some untold truths from ‘Nature’,” he adds. It is a truth told through hues that undulate across the canvas. In his own words: “I interpret it through colors, without focusing on any aspect. No preconceived imagery has impeded my spontaneous interplay of colors. They create the life, verve, void and texture, and inherent sense of energy. My innate optimism permeates through the colors as the joie de vivre."

Adimoolam’s canvases partake of his inner energy and vision, emerging as an extension of his mind that seems to put down color without referring to the artist himself. “At least for half the stage of a painting, I act as a tool and only after that I overcome this challenge,” explains Adimoolam.

That is the main reason for the spontaneous and untrammelled quality of Adimoolam’s canvases that seem to carry the viewer into a journey through space. As he questions: “What else can art depict except nature and people, the two inseparable elements?”

K. M. Adimoolam passed away in January 2008.

  Lot 66 of 75  

1-2 FEBRUARY 2012


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