Subtlety and Minimalism | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 11, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 11, 2011

Subtlety and Minimalism

Iffat Ara Dewan's solo exhibition at Bengal Gallery


Top left: Artworks by Iffat Ara Dewan. (Bottom) On the occasion of its 16th anniversary, Pintu's Fine Arts School organised an art exhibition and prize giving programme at the institution in Kalabagan. Celebrated singer Kumar Biswajit inaugurated the exhibition on May 6.

Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts has organised a painting exhibition, titled “Where Shadow Chases Light”, featuring the works of Tagore singer-artist Iffat Ara Dewan. Veteran painter Quayyum Chowdhury inaugurated the exhibition as the chief guest on May 5. Bangladeshi expatriate painter Monirul Islam and literary personality Mofidul Haque were present as special guests at the inaugural session of the exhibition. On the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, Dewan, an ardent admirer of the poet, has dedicated the exhibition to the maestro. She is inspired by Tagore's themes and contemplates on colour and tone with an intention of translating the bard's aesthetic sense.
At the exhibition, one observes the artist playing with smooth lines, dots and subdued (at times bold) colours to depict emotions, visions and experiences. Her approaches are simple (at times naïve), and at the same time the themes convey serenity and ecstasy.
Dewan considers painting as a break from monotony and exhaustion, and introduces the viewer to a world free of vulgarity and brutality.
Around 42 paintings are on display at the exhibition. The works included at the exhibition are in oil and acrylic. The artist is fond of flowers and believes that they symbolise beauty and innocence. In her depiction of woods, greenery and flower garden, she describes the elements of hope, romance and beauty. At the exhibition, a number of works give the viewers an impression of still life and create a solitary mood with their smooth ground, soft tenor and evocative lines.
Figures are absent in Dewan's paintings. Subtlety and minimalism are apparent traits in her works. At times the artist confines (as far as composition and subject are concerned) her paintings to just blooming flowers and vases. Through her works, the artist articulates our association with nature in a romantic setting.
Dewan started to paint in the 1990s. She has been working on the same themes and some of her recurring motifs have created a monotonous aspect.
Dewan mainly seems to concentrate on colours and prefers shades like blue, yellow, crimson and grey. The artist makes an attempt to contain her application of colours so that they look reserved, yet vibrant, simultaneously.
The exhibition continues till May 15.

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