<%-- Page Title--%> Art <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 140 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

January 30, 2004

<%-- Navigation Bar--%>
<%-- Navigation Bar--%>

Vision and Beyond
Mustafa Zaman

In the last solo show of artist Mokhlesur Rahman the images were a homage to his childhood days spent in proximity with nature. Beauty was presented in the form of landscape. The viewers were annexed to a world, which had wide open fields that rolled to the horizon inviting the eyes to travel to get a feel of the depth. It seemed as if curtains were removed from simultaneous windows to explore scenes of open fields of rural Bengal. In the very recent show, the same artist has shifted his point of attention and presents a series of small and medium size paintings where the bird-motifs and shadowy colour patches intermingle. The enticing open spaces have shrunk to make way for the play of colour and their various nuances in many pictures. As most of the presentations are woodcuts, they also vigorously display the signs of the media; cuts, lines and tool-bites are visible occasionally in many a painting. These works often reminds one of the imagery of Rafiqun Nabi. "Love", the green dominated work depicting two parrots on one side, is representative of this influence.

There are pictures that are heavily layered. In them play of light and shade remains the high point. Work like "Bird-3" possesses such mystifying quality. The artist himself has stated in the catalogue that the bustling city life has such effects in his soul that a retreat from it is a way to recognise in himself the thirst for his childhood village scene and natural vitality. Presently, the nostalgia is visible in his pictures. But it has gained an aura of unreality that resulted in experimenting more with the nuances of the media he used. Even his "Mustard Field-3," a large woodcut, is dim, bereft of the vigour of the earlier ones. The artist seems unwilling to reveal the real stuff -- the far way horizon, the greenery punctuated by water bodies.

Low-key is the mode he applied with full satisfaction, the result is a relay of images that are not so revealing in character. Though the elements like landscape and mostly birds remain his vehicle of expression, Mokhlesur Rahman, in this show, seems to have shrouded them with his technical finesse. Works look assertively painterly than representative of the subject that he explores.

Hovering in between colour-field abstraction and realism the artist has tried to subsume his passion for life into every piece. The works are upbeat and eye soothing. Perhaps more perked-up attitude would have prioritised the need for withdrawal of the dark fog that covers many an image -- or perhaps this affectation is what the artist aimed for.

The show consequently seems a bit hastily done; yet there are works that posses enough visual verve to attract the discerning eyes.

The show at Shilpangan started on January 23 and will last till the 30th.


(C) Copyright The Daily Star. The Daily Star Internet Edition, is published by The Daily Star