<i>Vocabularies new and old in paintings</i>
If one asked for Dali-like surrealism or wanted lyrical decorations from nature, or even cared for anthropological essences, one had only to see the recent group show at the Bengal Gallery. The artists were young, enterprising and experimental. They kept strong hold over their Bangladeshi roots and the teaching of the local master painters.
Some have had further training overseas, like Shahin Akhter Lipi , while many have local and international acclaims, as in the case of Md. Mahabubul Islam (Baabu) and Zahir Hossain (Newton). All have won accolades and recognitions at home and abroad, despite their relative young age. The group of seven intrepid artists have remarkable mastery over the brush and paints -- putting in swift strokes to convey their soulful messages.
Success hasn't made them heady and they come under the banner of flora and fauna. Although they naturally have their inspiration from their teachers in Bangladesh and India, keep many master painters as their ideals, they do not only emulate, and create in their own significant style -- blending in their subtle and sophisticated themes.
They carve and paint with oil, mixed - media and acrylic on canvas, paper and wood. They leap out of their academic training, and create a myriad of fascinating visions in beauty of artistic visions. All the seven artists, ranging from Baabu to Zahir Hossain (Newton) to Md. Abdul Aziz and Syed Mohammad (Shamim) are both prolific and passionate, going by their earlier exhibitions, and the latest joint one at Bengal Gallery. Some use muted hues at times, others delve in loud and cheerful colours.
While some of the painters go on to bring in graphic details, others go in for the Jackson Pollock effect. From the ornamental , like Rajaul Islam (Lovelu) and Md. Abdul (Aziz) to the semi- abstract, like Md. Zahir Hossain (Newton), both thematically and stylistically, the painters drive their messages home with a tremendous impact.
The 3-D world is also touched upon, as in the case of Lovelu, who has won the hearts of the viewers with his wooden sculptured effects, and Shahin Akhter (Lipi), who is inspired by the carvings and cave drawings of Ajanta and Ellora.
Whether the artists are trained in the Crafts Department or Oriental Art, always meaningful, sometimes stylized on purpose, their paintings on canvas and paper earn considerable respect for artists in their mid- thirties.
The seven artists have also admirable academic feats.