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      Volume 10 |Issue 16 | April 22, 2011 |


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Pantheon of Master Painters

Fayza Huq

S M Sultan, Farmer
Photo: courtesy

Saju's Grand Group Exhibition (April 1 to April 30) was dominated with the best of artworks by master painters like SM Sultan, Quamrul Hassan, Safiuddin Ahmed, Mohammad Kibria and Aminul Islam. The opening had the due fanfare and pageantry. It was not amazing that the exhibition culled the cream of artists. The selection had been done by the connoisseur and collector of art pieces, Ramiz Ahmed Chowdhury. The display and lighting was nonpareil. As the exhibit went neck to neck with the Bengal Gallery's “Rooted Creativity”, and was located far from the hub of the metropolis in Gulshan.

Quamrul Hassan's “Woman” presents the voluptuous, set against nature, complete with perfect hair and statuesque figure in the minimum of dramatic black, brush strokes on white paper. SM Sultan's “Farmer” has the rhythm of a peaceful and harmonious Bangladeshi farmer's life, with white cattle, seen against the backdrop of thatched homes, thick-topped trees and scudding clouds. The clods of earth in front and the farmers hat and “lungi', along with the ploughs were each worked on with details. The men appeared to have muscles as all paintings in SM Sultan's paintings.

Safiuddin Ahmed's “Composition” with swirling and gliding rivers and boats, in amazing black and gray print, has its lines and shapes in rhythmic symmetry. The buoyant creation appears both lilting and tranquil.

Aminul Islam's “Poem” has romantic and idyllic combination of dots, lines and squiggles -- suggesting a leafy tree with birds. The shape could also be taken for a fancy-free human from. It is stark black with the calligraphy in reddish brown. The piece appears to be like a torn piece of parchment.

Quamrul Hassan, Woman, Photos: courtesy

Mohammad Kibria's black, white and gray rectangular bars, set on white, are the epitome of abstraction.

Shamsul Islam Nizami's impressionistic “Composition” appear to be like floating red and pink lilies in a blue pond. Texture work completes the buoyant, soothing work, done in blue, gray and red.

“The Secret Garden” by Asma Kibria is a sweet, emerald and jade creation where one can almost hear the tropical birds among the leaves and branches. The balance of lines and colours in the composition has a symphony of their own.

“Endless Party” by Monirul Islam, are horizontal pastel creations on paper. The people, objects, lines, squiggles and dots sing in perfect harmony. The shades of wine pink, summer blue gold, chrome yellow and pearly greys caress and tantalise the sense.

“Smoking", by the inimitable Kanak Chanpa Chakma, introduces her figure with her scintillating scarlet and black beads on the neck, the detailed hanging earring and oriental Hill Tracts hair pin and the other feathery hair piece, have been painted in wit care and feeling. The background is in gray and gold.

“Rayar Bazar” by Sahabuddin, who took an active part in the “Liberation War”, with which the artist remains preoccupied in his emotional and popular paintings, brings corpses and pools of overwhelming blood, with details of calves, feet and outspread hand. This is in the minimal of colours, black brush strokes on cream.

“Monument'' by the well-loved professor, Mahmudul Haque, brings in emotions and reality, seen against nature. This is seen in shades of royal blue and white.

“Wings” by Murtaja Baseer, presets the maestro's work in subtle shades of earthy browns -- burnt sienna, burnt umber, black and stark white.

Abu Taher's “Sitarist” done in thick strokes of black against brown and a myriad of colours -- set in the background -- create a mosaic of riotous colours -- with gold, vermilion and lapis- lazuli dominating.

The beauty of Bangladeshi riversides is captured for all times in Syed Jahangir's “Fishing". The river and sky, with the moon and its reflection, the horizon, the splashes of water around the fishermen, as well as the sun-baked bodies of the fishermen speak of a rich, rural area.

Abdur Razaqq's “Composition” is yet another masterpiece in the collection, done in black against a off white backdrop.

Shahaduddin Ahmed, Rayyer Bazar.
Photos: courtesy

Abdus Sattar's “The Daughter” has three delectable oval faces, done in the Oriental Art style, complete with ornate jewellery with metro patterns, as well as black pearls. Hanging earrings, fan-shaped decorate the three pairs of ears. The cheeks are aglow like burnished gold. Tiny vermilion and snow-white flowers and dainty tree branches frame the faces.

Rokeya Sultana's “Untitled” bring in swirling gold, white and black forms. One blending with the other, in glorious harmony. Gold, white and twirling, gliding bring in an image of the beautiful fields of Bengal, of which poets sang for centuries. The fields could be of paddy or mustard. One can envisage the breeze blowing through the fields.

“Winter Dots” by Tajul Islam, shows flowers and ferns in geometrical details, the flora dancing in a rhythm of their own.

In "Drawing", the black and white detailed compositions, with Bangla calligraphy, in white, bring in the ballads of the past. The female figures, flowers and animals are done with delicate, minimal strokes. The Mymensingh village poetry is preserved and made immortal for all times.

Hamiduzzaman Khan's “Midnight” depict nature in stark black and white. The master painter cum sculptor loved the press, water and sky during his trips to the Sunderbans, and river ways, otherwise. The minimal strokes make the composition bewildering as well as delightful.

Swapan Chowdhury’s “Rain I” and Biren Shome's ”Renaissance in Red” and “Renaissance in Blue” are gorgeous, abstract presentations in scarlet and indigo blue , gold spangle-shaped dots and circles. The riot of colours in the paintings banishes all possible gloom.

If paintings portray joi-de-vivre, Nasreen Begum's “Sea Girl-12’, Goutam Chakraborty's “Cat”, and Shamsusdoha's "Spore” do. So does Mokhlesur Rahman”s “Untitled”.

Chakraborty's “Cat” had a superb and unique representation of the cat, with neat and parallel bars of colours laid on the midriff. The unusually thick tail, placed on front appears like some harmless pet snake-- curling in front. Behind are more neat bars of riotous colours.

Farida Zaman's superb creation, with fishing nets, done in breathtaking scarlet, jet-black and with curling lines, dots bring in the riverside of her youthful days. This theme of fishing nets, swimming silver fish, dancing moon, and the happy, fresh air has been presented in many ways -- each time more beautifully than the other. The impact remains unforgettable.

Nasreen Begum’s -- the much lauded teacher of Oriental Art --“Sea Girl- 12” has the beautiful nude female forms in shades of indigo blue, resting on the sand, like some mermaid. The scattered veil of sea shells, painted in details makes one recall the lines: “She walks in beauty”.

Mokhlesur Rahman's “Untitled” presents swirling and gliding ovular forms in subtle shades of gray-black, baby- pink and pale- blue.

Ranjit Das’s “Image and Reflections” has a seated, thinking women with a domestic animal's heard included in the canvas. The scattered scarlet red, yellow, orange and gold splashes of colours present a poignant image, though bursting with bright colours.

Shamsuddoha's “Spore” depicts nature in all its glory. The white flower could be a daisy or narcissus. The bent branches could be horns of a deer or a tree trunk. The pale blue moon and the other surrealistic forms in gentle shades breathe of the mystery of nature.

Shahid Kabir's “Slam Queen” brings the gorgeous form of a walking woman. Her mid-night black cascading hair, like some waterfall, and the surrounding splashes of chrome yellow and white make the portrait remarkable.

Mustafizul Haque's “Angry Horse” is a grey, scarlet and white abstract creation, kept as a proud collection, at the door of exhibition collection. It is certainly breathtaking in its simplicity and combination of powerful strokes.

Naima Haque's “Beyond” has a quaint, bare-breasted female form, clad in simple loin cloth, and heavy, silver jewellery on the ear and hand. The pale blue backdrop is ethereal and dream like.

KM Mithu's “Love” depicts the head of tow pristine white horses, neighing with ecstasy. The backdrop remains an abstract flat creation of a beige, dotted with white and black flecks. Rebecca Sultana's “Cactus Woman" contains an angular female face with a backdrop of scarlet, containing white and gold flowers. NB Barman”s “For Next Generation” contains a mysterious conglomeration of underwater image in cream, khaki, and yellow, depicting skeletons and other bewildering images. The collection is superb, without doubt.

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