Saju’s Grand Group exhibition this year held in North Gulshan again has the works of master painters along with others. Ending May 20, there are 113 art works by 80 well-known painters. It is certainly a feast for art lovers.
An SM Sultan, for instance, takes one’s breath away. It has the planter with three angels around him. The dark Bangladeshi farmer is bulging with muscles emphasising the strength of the farmer who is responsible for feeding millions. The black buffaloes of Qamrul Hassan have eyes like humans, with only horns to tell one that they are animals.
“A range of Nature” by Safiuddin Ahmed is a charcoal drawing -circles, ovals and lines. One can detect faces in this almost abstract work, of many decades back. It is done with charcoal on black.
Rafiqun Nabi depicts a young woman in a simple pink sari, playing with a child, while the mother goat looks on. The house is left white; only the door and the frame is painted yellow.
Aminul Islam illustrates a poem by Shamsur Rahman’s poem. The powerful drawing comprises black rectangular lines, rectangles, circles and ovals, representing trees presented with a modern vision. Tajuddin Ahmed , with his collage painting, presents human beings and horses. The colours are chocolate, lemon green , gold and duck yellow.
In Murtaja Baseer’s drawings we see two faces of women, done ages back, and reminding one of European busts. Little pearl necklaces, tied hair in pony-tails and earrings bring in the past with pure, unblemished lines. The eyes and lips are neat replicas of Greek and Roman busts of young beauties, done afresh to match with the times. Gautom Chokroborty shows us Mother Teresa, one of his favourite themes, with head covered with the well-known three blue stripes. This is an oil on canvas, with purple circles at the back. This painting was completed last year.
Kanak Chanpa Chakma has a young adivasi woman lighting candles. Jewellery adorns her ears and hair. Her robe is of a yellowish tint. It is called “The flame of faith”. Buddhism is presented with the face of Siddharta and the seated Gautam Buddha in gold and bronze.
Abdur Shakoor Shah’s myths and folklore sits as the piece de resistance of the 113 paintings. It is placed on a board on the entrance. In a dotted sari and a sari with a bright border, she flaunts a necklace, tika and hanging earrings. There are brown and white doel birds around the woman in the right end giving the look of rural serenity.
Rokeya Sultana also portrays the countryside. There is the blue of the sky merging with the yellow of the ripe paddy. Splashes of gold, red, blue, yellow and opal white bring in the hues of the sky above and the vast acres of land.
Delicate, delectable white cranes by Dr. Farida Zaman also catch the eye. The three birds stand out on the three grey ovals created by splashes of navy blue. The delicate neck, beaks and wings are done with spontaneous lines of a master painter.
Senior painter Samarjit Rai, has the representation of ecstasy with a pale back drop. In his work we see buntings, kites and fans. Ferris wheels, fans, triangles, circles are connected with red and black. In the backdrop are splashes of bright orange, jade green and cornflower yellow.
Three, four boats by the panorama expert Jamal Ahmed, barges on a gray morning. Human figures of fishermen have been included along with the meticulous delineation of the sky, sand and the river. Each item has been shown with precision—even when the image is impressionistic and somewhat blurred, for effect. The boats are in details so is the sand . Even the planks of the boats have been shown with care and passion. The water is sometimes gray, sometimes an opal white—while the boats and barges consist of lines of orange and black.
Syed Hassan Mahmud’s tangle of bush growth is done as if in frenzy. It certainly has a lot of minute work and energy behind each stroke. It is in black and white. The swirls and glides of lines add to the aestheticism. It is certainly eye-catching – the work of an artist who loves his lines.
Anisuzzaman’s ‘Kaleidoscopic Complexity’ is a depiction of buildings in a city. There are delicate bars on gray. One delights in the structures going up in the air—although commonly the cement jungles are disliked. Some of the careful symmetry of the lines appear to be weaving.
Biren Some’s work is a wash in gold and vermilion. The sky in shades, brings in a bit of white. In the forefront appears to be a wooden fence done in black.
Abu Taher brings in the traditional mother and daughter theme in the village. The woman wears an orange and green sari.
Syed Jahangir’s fishermen – is done in a blue and gold extravaganza. The people, the fishing nets and the land are all awash with gold. Even the moon in the sky is a clear navy blue.
In Shishir Battacharya’s symbolic work, representing the chaos of the present generation, one finds a rooster with shoes, a feathered Icarus near the sun – melting his wings; there are birds, boats, shells, women and fish. The melange is intriguing indeed. The melange of chaotic figures and items speaks well of a generation that is hell – bent on breaking and burning without rhyme or reason.
Beautiful aerial roots of the Banyan tree are seen in the most idyllic image showing the ‘Sunderbans’ Nature – by Shamsudoha. For him Nature means a combination of the colours of the rainbow. The colours and lines are in a romantic pageantry. The swirls of turquoise, purple and green mesmerise the onlooker. Even the earthy aerial roots are enchanting and symmetrical.
Nurul Amin’s ‘Panamnagar’ brings in the details of the arches, pillars, alcoves, windows, posters, hurrying blue and gold rickshaws and people in simple clothes. It depicts ancient Bengali Muslim culture at its peak. Much of what one sees in the painting howevery is no more than ruins of a lost generation.
In addition there is the maestro, Alokesh Ghosh, who has the pair of black and white delicate cranes flying—with the green, blue and red foliage at the back.
Ranjit Das depicts the village girl with a fan in her hand the doves on her shoulder, Ranjit’s power of human delineation has always been sweet and serene. Musical notes intertwine the portraiture.
Iftikharuddin Ahmed’s work is of a horse in a frenzy. His eyes are red, while is mane is jet -black. Around the horse are lines and squiggles of gray—that depict the dust created by the restlessness and energy.
The works of maestroes and their students who are now wellknown artists gives a glimpse of the richness of Bangladesh’s art scene that seems to defy the turbulence of the present times.