Mumbai, June 4: An exhibition of watercolour paintings by celebrated Indian landscape painter Prof. Pralhad Anant Dhond has been organized on the occasion of his 111th birth anniversary, said his grandson Kedar Kamat at a press meet held at the Mumbai Press Club on Tuesday. The exhibition will be held from June 11 to 17 at the Jahangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, from 11 am to 7 pm and it will be open to all. The exhibition will be inaugurated at the hands of Raj Thackeray, a renowned cartoonist and the chief of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, on June 11 at 5.30 pm. Mr Thackeray will also release a souvenir ‘Dhawal Resha’ – based on the life of Dhond Sir – on this occasion. In this book, Raj has paid tribute to Dhond Sir in a novel way by drawing his caricature. In addition to this, several students of Dhond Sir and eminent personalities have expressed their affection towards him by writing articles and remembering their memories about Dhond Sir. Eminent personalities like Prof Narendra Vichare, honorary director, Padmabhushan Vasantdada Patil College of Applied Arts, Neena Rege, director, Nehru Centre Art Gallery along with the family members of Prof. Dhond including his grandson Kedar Kamat were present in the press meet.
Mr Kamat said, “Dhond Sir devoted nearly 70 years of his life for the art. He remained a prolific painter even at the age of 92. Till his last breath, he remained dedicated towards the art. The white lines in the landscape was the main feature of this paintings. This exhibition is a small attempt to revive the art of watercolour landscape, which is on the verge of getting extinct. The exhibition has been organized with an aim to inspire today's generation with his paintings and recall his memories. We plan to hold many such exhibitions of his paintings not only in Maharashtra, but also across India if we get the support of Dhond Sir’s followers and the government.”
On this occasion, Rupali Kedar Kamat also read out a message sent by renowned artist Prabhakar Kolte, who was also one of the students of Prof. Dhond. In his message, Kolte, recalling his memories with Dhond Sir, said, "We were fortunate to have a mentor like Dhond Sir. Today, it is not possible to get a tutor like him. Our relation with him was not just limited to as students and a teacher, but we were like friends. Dhond Sir’s era belonged to landscapes and portraits. He was precise in deciding which colours should be used, which colours should be mixed, where to start and to finish the drawing. A devoted art teacher, he was unhappy with students who easily fell to market demand instead of working on their instincts. He used to say today’s generation should look upon painting not as a profession, but as a passion. They should introspect on what exactly is needed in the drawing. Painting cannot be taught, it has to be learnt by observation. The uniqueness of the drawing should always be visible. The artist should read a lot to understand what is going on across the world. The exhibition of paintings of Dhond Sir will enable today’s artists to observe its beauty and also figure out the similarities and differences in his and their paintings. This will help them to make rapid strides as a painter in future, he said.
Prof. P. A. Dhond was born in 1908 in Ratnagiri. He completed a diploma in Arts in 1934 and then did his Art Master’s in 1937, standing first in order of Merit. He also worked as the dean of Sir J. J. School of Art from 1958 to 1968 and then as the Director of Art, Maharashtra State, from 1968 to 1969. His autobiographical book ‘Raapan’ received a State Government’s award and was also acclaimed by critics in newspapers and readers. Due to his impressive coating style of water colours and unique handling of landscapes, he is considered as one of India’s celebrated landscape painters. His exceptional paintings have been archived at various art galleries, museums and universities in India. In addition to this, his paintings are also in collection of well-known institutes of several countries in Germany, USA, South Africa, East Africa, Russia etc; eminent celebrities and art lovers in various fields.