Painter Nurul Islam's 2nd death anniversary observed
Eminent painter Nurul Islam was known for his unique portrayal of curvaceous women with bold lines, subtle textures, as well as cubist forms.
Yesterday marked his second death anniversary. On the occasion, a discussion was held and prayers were offered yesterday at his son's residence in Dhaka. Noted scholars, art critics and senior painters took part in the discussion.
Nurul Islam was born in Tangail in 1933. He graduated from Dacca Art College (presently Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka) in 1956. His accomplishments included volumes of drawings, sketches, and paintings. He was a multifaceted artist, working practically in all mediums like oil, watercolour, gouache, etching, pastel, woodcut, linocut, pen and pencil.
Prior to his death, two exhibitions featuring his works were held at Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. The exhibitions received much acclaim.
I distinctly remember my first introduction to the painter at one of the prominent galleries in Dhaka in 2002. At first glance, he seemed to have lived a weathered life. A few months after that I went to his studio and found him working on an oil painting. Using vibrant colours and strokes, Nurul Islam took a trip to the unknown. Passionate and imaginative, Nurul Islam shied away from overexposure, commercial lures and dictates of popular taste.
Most of his works highlight folk elements; and the recurring motifs are birds, greenery, fish, rural women carrying pitchers, peasants, lush foliage and bulls. His semi-realistic and semi-abstract works on the Bangladeshi countryside were marked by his lucid, time-consuming technique. His excessive use of space provides grace to all his work that belongs to this sensuous grade. Tactile, sharp and stirring colours give that depth and shape to his paintings.
Islam set out as a figurative painter. During the early stages of his career, his works focused on nature and human figures. Along with natural elements, lines and varied familiar and unfamiliar forms are predominant features of his paintings. Some of his works seem to convey a sense of solitude. The colours he generally used -- green, red, yellow and azure -- flow and merge with passion. The effortless intermingling of colours produce visions that are refreshing and thought-provoking. His figures always seem enigmatic.