Of experiments and creativity
“When I'm engrossed in painting, I lose myself. Without fear, I might even destroy the image or create a new pattern, as the painting takes over me; I believe each painting has a life of its own,” says Monirul Islam, renowned Bangladeshi painter. Islam's latest painting exhibition, titled “Of Rupture and Continuity”, is now on at Bengal Art Lounge in Gulshan, Dhaka.
Without much deliberation, Monir applies colours and creates forms, lines and compositions. He puts layer upon layer of paint, until he feels that he has achieved what he's striving for. The outcome is a contemplative, subtly balanced arrangement of colours and space that draws an art enthusiast's eyes.
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. These works simultaneously display technical finesse and mature intellect.
At the exhibition, his paintings on display often feature surprising elements. He believes art can be enriched through changing mediums. Each medium has a special quality. As part of experimentation and developing new features, Islam has used oxide colours, smoked black, different types of soil, coffee, marble dust, brick dust, burnt ground rice, acramin and natural pigments. The painter has used special glue that bonded the materials.
The artist knows where to stop -- which is a strong suit of his paintings. He avoids rigid forms and over-embellishment. As a result, a good sense of proportion is noticed in his works. He has a fascination with local materials. The materials are easily available and cheap. One remarkable feature of his works at the exhibition is that he has pasted paper (grimy, uneven and torn) on corrugated board for a number of his works. Corrugated board is another medium that enables him to portray his illusions and fantasies.
“The materials' rough texture and rutted surface give me some advantages; I can easily apply colours and create lines. Most of the time, the paper encourages me to create something novel,” he says. The artist has worked on them in acrylic, oil, pencil and other mediums to portray varied surrealistic, geometric patterns and symbolic images. His relationship with geometric abstraction has made him one of the pioneers of abstract painting in our country. Some of his works feature scribbles and clean compositions -- articulating fantasy, longing and melancholy.
The exhibition will continue till December 25.