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      Volume 10 |Issue 17 | April 29, 2011 |


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Songs of Nature

Shamsul Wares

Paintings of Syed Abdullah Khalid depicting forest- like landscapes, flower trees and flowers are the expressions of his deep understanding and passion for nature. He is keener to explore the inner structure of nature than its simple outer visual appearance. He goes beyond what is retinal or phenomenal in nature in order to experience the colour, vibration and the silence in nature. His passionate involvement in the process of perceiving the form of nature, the order of nature and above all the nature of nature enables him to capture the power to unveil the secrets hidden in nature. Secrets are the ultimate beauty in nature. Beauty belongs to the truth, the eternal truth. In such a quest for truth his paintings are like ritualistic offerings to the eternal and in this way Khalid continually connects himself with the spirit.


Gallery Kaya exhibits Khalid's third solo containing 25 realistic and 15 abstract paintings on canvas, majority of which are in acrylic. In his landscapes Khalid has highlighted the colour of flowers with excess in order to squeeze out the juice from nature. Trees are lined up in a way to express the harmony, stability and the power of nature. These paintings celebrating the songs of nature in a way express Khalid's optimistic world view. But even in his optimism, there is an air of melancholy, a sense of loneliness in his landscapes abandoning human figures and other creatures. This dichotomy between happiness and sadness depicted in his landscape paintings rightly echoes the very essence of life itself. In his abstract colourist-paintings he uses close-up views of the branches of trees containing patches of flowers of different colours and then distorts by splashing colour pigments so as to achieve forms through controlled accidents. Nature doesn't produce ninety degree angles nor any orthogonal geometry. Nature is a process of spontaneous growth. Khalid captures that spontaneity, the very essence of nature through irregular, eruptive and vigorous colour forms.

Khalid whose ancestry is closely related to the Sufi culture of Sylhet, has the natural, mental inclination for what is mystical. Due to his life-long fascination for the metaphysical, his explosive abstract colour paintings have found their natural roots in the Abstract Expressionist paintings, particularly those of Jackson Pollock, which were initially introduced to him by his teacher Abdur Razzak in the 1960s. Although Khalid is more known for his large- sized realistic sculptures (“Aporajeo Bangla” in Dhaka University Campus is most noted) and terracotta works, his passion for paintings remains in his veins. Paintings are the painful creation of the mind. For Khalid, painting is a vehicle in pursuit of the divine, beyond reason.



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