Vol. 5 Num 215 Fri. December 31, 2004  

Treasures from the Subcontinent
A feast of Indian and Bangladeshi art work

It is not often that Dhaka sees paintings by well-known foreign artists. In Shilpangan's recent exhibition Bandhan, however, one saw the works of MF Husain, KG Subramanyan and more from India. They were seen along with the works of reputed Bangladeshi painters like Quamrul Hasan, Qayyum Chowdhury, Hashem Khan , Monirul Islam and Rafiqun Nabi. Such a feast of art works was exhilarating indeed.

One of Quamrul Hasan's pictures presented a woman with jewellery but bare top, sitting on a small rug, with her hair falling on her shoulders. A bird and a nude were also included in the composition. The subjects had been sketched in. A seated woman, with a flecked skirt, a horse, and a bird with a fish in its mouth were the topics of Quamrul Hasan's other sketches.

Qayyum Chowdhury's painting had a bird in the centre . It was in blue, black and green. In front and at the side were sprays of blossoms and leaves. There were splashes of blue and white all over. Another painting presented a woman in a red sari, covering her face with the end of her garment . It was done with quick strokes as was also the backdrop.

Hashem Khan's two oils are in waves of green and blue, with think paint strokes in more green, yellow ochre back and white and blue falling from the top.

Rafiqun Nabi had a woodcut with trees and boats seen in a sweep of wind. They were done in strokes of black. His other print had a dead myna bird in a cage. This was in shades of orange, beige, black and gray.

Monirul Islam's Spanish wall had splashes of gray, pink, green and orange. Way to glory comprised of soft circular and other geometrical sweeps of colours.

The works of Abdus Shakoor, Mahmudul Haque ,Farida Zaman and Ranjit Das were also very striking and moving.

MF Husain had figures of women dancing in blue, green and orange. The forms had been done with quick strokes . Another female form depicted a woman with a skirt and choli . She was surrounded by three small, yellow elephants and slim sugar cane stalks, and their rhythmic dance matched that of the woman's. Another brought in two gray-green elephant gods, done with the simplest of strokes. There was then the figure of a deity sitting on a buffalo, which in turn was perched on snow covered mountains. Another painting showed an elephant god tearing through a photo frame.

FM Souza's Jesus from his Jesus series brought the subject in black sketches. His hands and neck were tied while he wore a crown of thorns. Some spears and a cross for crucifixion had been included at the back.

Window, by Jogen Chowdhury, a lithograph, had four little rectangles surrounded by geometrical designs. These , in turn, were surrounded by leaves that had been painted by large thick strokes.

Sanat Kar's work brought a face that was complemented by figures of two women holding on to large fleshy leaves.

KG Subramanyan's work brought in a scantily clad woman. Behind her were vignettes of a child playing with a snake and a scene with trees and bushes. The composition included a portrait of a woman. This was in sketches of black.

Aditi Chakravarty' s work had a woman lying down .She had prominent eyes and face . Yellow and blue flowers floated at her sides . The work had been done on burnt wood with addition of acrylic paints.

Uttam Kumar Basak's showed poorly clad people going about their work while a man in a mask peered at them from the back. In the background is a fort dating from ancient Muslim period and some hills.

The exhibition had been largely the effort of artist Maksudul Ahsan, in cooperation with Shilpangan, and some of the visiting Indian artists.