Nasir Ali Mamun's art collection on display | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 20, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015

Nasir Ali Mamun's art collection on display

Nasir Ali Mamun's art collection on display

Artworks by Quamrul Hassan
Artworks by Quamrul Hassan from the collection

Under the title “Artistic Musings of the Greats”, Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts has organised a drawing exhibition featuring the works of 54 great artists, poets, writers, actors and eminent personalities of Bangladesh and India.
The works on display are selected from the private collection of celebrated Bangladeshi photographer Nasir Ali Mamun. Professor Emeritus Anisuzzaman inaugurated the exhibition as chief guest on June 14. Eminent artist Qayyum Chowdhury attended as special guest with renowned artist Monirul Islam was present as honourable guest.
The exhibition is based mainly on drawings collected by Mamun at different periods when he visited the artists, poets and personalities to take their photographs.
The soft spoken, modest and amiable Mamun is considered to be “The Poet of Camera”. His subjects are renowned creative figures and personalities and he has been photographing them for over the last four decades. He was the first to introduce the concept of portrait photography in our country in 1972.
Mamun requested many artists to depict Tagore's portrait.

Artworks by Mustafa Monwar
Artworks by Mustafa Monwar from the collection

Noted artist Shambhu Acharya, mingling patchitra with modernity, depicts Tagore on canvas while sculptor Ferdousi Priyabhashini, portrays Gurudev on acrylic. Her work uncannily resembles the Tagorean style. Qayyum Chowdhury's Tagore is on watercolour with minimal yet magical black lines that easily attract the viewers while Abul Barq Alvi depicts Tagore with ink on paper. Abdus Satter seeks to capture the essence of Baul Rabindranath in his drawing while Hamiduzzaman Khan, Farida Zaman, Syed Iqbal, Sheikh Afzal, Abul Mansur and Ranjit Das also beautifully depict Tagore in their distinctive styles.
One of the showpieces of the exhibition is late artist Abdur Razzaque's depiction of his friend Rashid Chowdhury (a watercolour done in 1951). SM Sultan's drawing “Kishani” (1980) is another priceless work. Sultan portrayed several portraits of Nasir Ali Mamun. Those are also being exhibited at the show. Pioneer Quamrul Hassan's drawing has embellished the gravity of the exhibition.
Mustafa Monowar's watercolour titled “Blue Sky” highlights the monsoon-time crimson sky with the silent landscape of scenic beauty of our country. Translucence and simplicity are the main traits of his works, while panoramic beauty, rural life and seasonal change are recurring themes. The watercolours by Syed Jahangir and Monirul Islam are outstanding.  

Artwork by Quayyum Chowdhury from the collection.
Artwork by Quayyum Chowdhury from the collection.

Murtaja Baseer's meticulous drawings of his self portrait enrich the exhibition. Some of his line-based drawings depict realistic portraits where one could easily comprehend the flavour of visual rendering.
Monirul Islam is mainly recognised as a printmaker. However, currently he has focused more on painting. His application of paint is intense and the lines are more minimised; colours seem to be bold and vivacious.
Some seasoned Indian painters' drawings have added to the significance of the group show. The artists -- Jogen Chowdhury, Dhiraj Chowdhury, Shuvaprasanna, Ganesh Haloi are well known for their individual style and technique. Mamun collected their works at different times. Dhiraj Chowdhury's watercolour titled “Rabindranath and Faces” evokes the bard's close affinity to the nature of feminine grace. Purnendu Pattrea's drawing of “Horse 1 and 2” (ink on paper) seems fantastic lines evocative of works of Jamini Roy. Ramananda Bandyopadhyay line based work -- a female face – infuses poetic myth and memory. Suhas Roy's print titled “Radha” tells the romantic tales of euphoria.   
Noted Indian artist Jogen Chowdhury is well known among Bangladeshi artists and critics. At the exhibition, his feminine face with a Bengali calligraphy, floral imagery and organic forms depict the uniqueness of nature. The painter is widely acknowledged as the master of the unbroken line. Most of his works has been stirred by the linear Kalighat pat tradition, but his lines are sensitive and used to express and suggest the character of a person.
The exhibition is unique as drawings of as many non-painters are also on display. Doodles and sketches of a number of writers, poets and professors have been included. Professor Anisuzzaman depicted an innocent face, Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus depicted Nasir Ali Mamun's camera, Nirmalendu Goon portrayed red tip with a female face and Bangladeshi writer Humayun Ahmed's watercolours splendidly feature the freshness and simplicity of nature as well as its mystifying setting. Their works are purely realistic with a touch of impressionism. Meticulous balancing of light and shade is another trait in their works.
The exhibition, that is open from 12 noon to 8pm everyday, ends on July 5.

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