‘Living colours and dancing lines’ in Monir’s paintings
Monirul Islam can interpret life's diverse dimensions with his remarkable style, techniques where colours, lines, textures and forms blend in synchronisation. Controlling the medium and technique with skilled mastery, he projects an aesthetic and stylistic uniqueness. Monir's paintings speak to the viewer in an intimate voice about childhood -- most often the favourite chapter of human life, immersed in bliss, woes and boundless endeavours. The result is a display of art centring on nature, human relationships and the meaning of life.
Monir's solo exhibition titled 'Living Colours and Dancing Lines' is now on at Bengal Gallery of Fine arts. The exhibition ends on December 6. The exhibition includes prints (etching, aquatint, dry point, mezzotint), mono print, water colours and mixed media on paper.
Monir's USP is his subtle lines, warm colours and the balance between space and composition. Use of space is an important aspect in his works and the artist likes to work with different geometric forms and unusual shapes, transforming them amazingly into tangible expressions. An admirer of nature, Monir tries to replicate colours and synchronisation found in surrounding environment in his works, using his personal language and individual expression. The space that is found in his works is aptly related to the perspective of the themes. The artist uses little doodles, sharp lines, dots, tiny motifs and a lot of symbols, which have become his trademark.
After settling in Spain, he started using paper as medium. It enables him to place the complexities of life to the viewer with a different appeal, from an unusual angle. Monir makes his own paper, which provides the mystery that inspires him. Paper as a medium is quite popular in Madrid, where the artist currently lives.
Monir's water colours mainly focus on the unparalleled beauty of nature. In the late 1960s, Monir emerged as an accomplished water colourist. Up until 1969 when he left for Spain on a scholarship to study traditional murals, Monir concentrated on oil and water colours. Monir has also done a few graphic works in Dhaka to get an idea of the method. The Madrid art scene drew him into the enchanting world of etching, to which he later concentrated his artistic faculty. That was a turning point in his life.
In a Monirul Islam work titled 'Dialogue in Silence,' there is a remarkable interplay of sapphire, black, yellow, white and grey in a harmonious depiction of lovers. Love is the tenderest and somehow rarest element in the world. Monir puts into his work all the yearning and passion that only lovers experience.
'Creation of a Nation' is another outstanding etching and aquatint, which depicts the dark side of human nature. The painting is Monir's ode to Bangladesh in 1971. There are some skeletons in the work that refers to death and misery during the Liberation War. In 'Autumn Musical Notes,' one notices the printmaker's etching skills. In this composition the artist has combined grey and black, two contrasting colours. In the bottom are some lines in these two shades, which could represent a musical milieu.
'El Maestro' is a mixed media piece where etching has been done with watercolour and pen. The image refers to the contemporary socio-economic condition of our country. 'Only Two of Us' -- etching and aquatint -- is again a tribute to love. The evocation of the vastness of nature is splendid and the line in the surface generates Monir's characteristic mystery.
Monir has carved a niche in the Madrid art scene and won the most prestigious award, the Spanish National Grand Prize. A workaholic and charismatic character, Monir is always creating the offbeat with phenomenal élan. By inventing new forms and exploring different themes, he has acquired a distinguished position in the global art scenario.