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Ravi Gadre Sketched His Way to Punjabi Hearts

Ravi Gadre, a Pune-based noted architect, artist, and cartoonist, was on his personal and professional tour to Chandigarh and Anandpur Sahib from 3rd May to 8th May 2022. It was his second visit to Chandigarh after 48 years and his first to Punjab. Gadre was accompanied by his young colleague and disciple architect Harshad Bagal. They aimed to visit significant places of architectural importance, make their sketches, and meet friends, artists, sketchers, and art lovers.

During this tour, Ravi Gadre made many on-the-spot sketches of some famous landmarks, showed these to many people and presented some to his friends and followers. Ravi Gadre, a Maharashtrian artist, won the hearts of several Punjabis who met him through his sketches.

It was our pleasure to spend an evening with such a great artist and humble person like Ravi Garde. We exchanged many ideas and concepts concerning the profession of architecture and the importance of hand-drawn sketches. Ravi Gadre was kind enough to present us with some of his beautiful sketches. He has contributed handsomely to my book, “Hand-Drawn Perspectives and Sketches”.

On 5th May 2022, Ravi Gadre and his colleague Harshad Bagal travelled to Anandpur Sahib in Punjab – about 80 km from Chandigarh. Their sole aim was to visit and see Virasat-e-Khalsa – a Sikh Heritage Museum designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie.

Both were highly impressed by the stunningly outstanding and modernistic museum campus dedicated to the birth of Khalsa. During the visit here, Ravi Gadre drew a quick sketch (in 15 minutes) of this bold and beautiful building. His sketch was so attractive that even the security personnel and receptionists in the museum were eager to get their photographs clicked with Ravi and his sketch. Ravi Garde – a true artist and a humble human being, obliged them happily.

Ravi Gadre

Ravi Gadre visited the Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA) and interacted with the students. He conducted a brief sketching workshop for the benefit of budding architects. During the workshop, Ravi Gadre also met the Principal of CCA Sangeeta Bagga, renowned artist and teacher Bheem Malhotra, Prof Gaurav Gangwar and architect Vijay Uppal. Ravi Gadre gifted some of his valued sketches to the CCA and students.

Ravi Gadre also paid a visit to the Studio-cum-House of a renowned artist, Sikandar Singh, in Chandigarh. Gadre described Sikandar Singh as ‘a very charming person and an incredible artist.’

During his tour to Chandigarh, Ravi Gadre visited the Capitol Complex and spent about half a day observing the magnificent architectonics of Le Corbusier. He made some sketches of the beautiful Assembly building in the complex. Gadre sums up his experience of visiting Chandigarh as “It was a wonderful tour to Chandigarh. Le Corbusier is a Gita (the sacred book) for me now. I have read his number of books, but experiencing it is a divine experience. I liked the masterful city planning and architecture of Chandigarh. It is the finest example of urban design.”

Harshad Bagal reacted to their visit to Chandigarh and Anandpur Sahib as, “I must say, I loved the city, people and most importantly meeting with you. It is not regional but how architecture influences the common people, their daily lives, and the common person follows the system in reverse. If all citizens in every state follow the system made in Chandigarh, we can see a new India.”

On Sunday, 8th May 2022, Ravi Gadre demonstrated sketching on the Government Museum and Art Gallery campus, Sector 10, Chandigarh. It aimed to teach on-the-spot sketching to the Chandigarh Sketchers’ Group. Ravi Garde taught the participants how to learn from nature and change the expression of a sketch through different techniques. The event was conducted by architect Deepika Gandhi, the Sketchers’ Group founder.

During this interaction with young sketchers, Ravi Gadre sketched a Le Corbusier-designed building called Chandigarh Architecture Museum. He also drew a caricature of a young architect Chaitanya Rajan Mohindra, a wonderful sketcher.

Ravi Gadre takes architectural drawings to a different level, where every line represents the myriad of emotions that the architect puts in his designs. Gadre is known for his designs and his hand-drawn architectural drawings. For him, architecture doesn’t stop after the completion of buildings – it starts, in fact, with the sketches and drawings of the completed buildings.

He has maintained a ritual (for many years) of gifting framed sketches of the completed buildings to his clients at the inauguration. Keen to keep the spirit of artistic expression alive, he encourages young architects and interns in his office to draw and sketch as much as possible.

Ravi Gadre opined, “It is false that drawings are merely a reflection or representation of buildings. They are much beyond that. Through my drawings and sketches, I convey the feelings and emotions of the architect and the client and users, sometimes.”

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