and Space in Gridlock
Kumar Das has clarity of vision as well as tidiness in mind.
In person he is soft-spoken. His works reflect the same
dexterity undoubtedly has the power to gravitate viewers
of all kinds. With their distinct graphic quality, the paintings
encourage closer inspection.
works are about stillness. Stuck in limbo, all things lose
their significance to announce the essence that the artist
strives to search for in his strangely ordered world. It
is the convergence of things through which the artist tries
to give voice to the perceived message.
he lacks the philosophical strength to build a strong premise,
through his neatly drawn spider webs, star constellations,
spheres or amoeba-like forms, he tries and explains the
unexplainable. Having lost two sisters who committed suicide,
Uttam embarks on the journey to find out why. His search
has given birth to paintings that he titled "Cause
objects that hovers on a pale yellow surface in a series
of works titled, "Frame of Life," too, allude
to the puzzle that life has to offer. These two works suggest
that the artist is trying to unlock the cognitive sphere
through representation of objects that correspond to discovery
and knowledge or, to imagine further, enlightenment.
philosophically inclined it may seem, Uttam's first solo
at the Zainul Gallery, Institute of Fine Arts, is an exercise
in his ability to represent his chosen subjects. Spider
and webs seem to be the main theme he harped on to perfection.
As a young painter who majored in Botani from National University
and than went on to acquire a five-year diploma from Bulbul
Lalitkala Academy of Fine Arts, he is capable of extreme
realism and consummate abstraction. His environment paintings,
where he puts the equations of erosion of the ozone layer
in clear term of chemistry by indicating CFC, CO2, CH4 or
N2O as prime offenders, takes the idea of pitching a message
too far. There is this line between scientific discovery
and the artistic one, which, it seems, eludes Uttam. He
makes effort to be a purveyor of an already known fact.
fails in the environmental arena, Uttam comfortably flexes
his muscle in the cosmo-organic zone. In couple of smallish
paintings his vision of the eternal finds a visually interesting
form. By setting the cosmic frontier against the presence
of biological forms he seems confident. In "Target
-- We and I," a morphed human finds its place among
the amoeba-like creatures. This is where he strikes gold.
Large, dark paintings, also titled "Target -- We and
I," are exercises in putting disparate subjects on
a single horizon. The photo-realistically rendered circuits
of the micro-electronics, framed in biomorphic forms, hover
on the night sky, or so it seems. This fusion may open up
a floodgate for the artist if this reconciliation between
the opposites can express meaning. If it remains as obtuse
as it is now, the works will remain an exercise in futility.
Lucky for Uttam, who was born in 1975, he has all the years
of artistic actions ahead of him.
show -- "Endangered Mind of Five Years" -- accumulates
Uttam's efforts of last five years. The exhibition was open
to the visitors from 1 to 7 March of this year.
(R) thedailystar.net 2005