Paying homage to renowned sculptor and painter Syed Abdullah Khalid, Bangladesh National Museum (BNM) is hosting a ten-day retrospective exhibition, at their Nalinikanta Bhattashali Gallery. Renowned folklorist Professor Shamsuzzaman Khan, the chairman of the Board of Trustees of BNM, inaugurated the event. Eminent architect-poet Rabiul Hussain, an honourable member of the Board of Trustees of BNM, presided over the opening ceremony, and National Professor Anisuzzaman was present as the chief guest.
Khalid’s wife Umme Kulsum demanded the inscription of the artist’s name at the base of the sculpture, Aparajeyo Bangla, at the event. Khalid’s Aparajeyo Bangla, carries a symbolic value and sentiment. It is a great piece of evidence of the glorious history behind the Liberation War of Bangladesh. Rabiul Hussain, who was involved in the making of Aparajeyo Bangla, called it Khalid’s most iconic sculpture. “The freedom fighters’ maverick character, resolute morale and indomitable courage attributes a unique feature of the work,” he said. Eminent sculptor Hamiduzzaman Khan and prominent art critic Moinuddin Khaled also spoke at the programme. In his speech, Moinuddin Khaled proposed the publication of a commemorative book on Khalid.
The exhibition showcases sculptures and paintings, along with memoirs of the artist’s personal collection of watches, glasses, coins, collectibles, paint brushes, photographs, videos and his awards like the Ekushey Padak and Shilpakala Padak.
Khalid, a pioneer in the field of art, beautifully merged the contrasting hard and soft aspects of artistic practices throughout his life. The vivid colours of spring flowers, especially Sonalu,Radhachura and Krishnachura, are prominent in his works. His paintings are picturesque, and inspired by observations of nature. The artist used close-up views of tree branches, containing patches of colourful flowers, and then distorted the paintings by splashing colour pigments.
Khalid’s paintings generally denote romantic notions. As an abstract expressionist, his focus was on colours and their various facets. He also experimented with unstructured forms and vague compositions, which were scrupulously used in his works. The artist applied colours directly, piling up thick and thin layers on the canvas, for his bold and dynamic paintings. Strong brushstrokes make unintentional textural states in his works. At times, he deliberately created a texture, according to the paintings’ distinctive requirements. This application aspect is a hallmark of all his creations. The exhibition is open to all until November 13.