A tribute to Abdur Razzaque | The Daily Star
12:09 AM, October 27, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:29 AM, October 27, 2013

A tribute to Abdur Razzaque

A tribute to Abdur Razzaque

">A tribute to Abdur Razzaque Top: Composition-8 (oil on canvas); Freedom fighter (white cement and concrete)
Abdur Razzaque is regarded as one of the greatest sculptors of our country. He was the first person to take up sculpture in the independent country from the centre point of Joydevpur. A versatile individual in arts, he was not only immersed in the sculpture medium, but print making and painting were also among his favourite media of expression. He showed outstanding evidence in both creativity and skill in each branch. Even on the day prior to his death, he was silently involved in his work. He was 73 when he passed away in 2005. He died in Jessore where he had conducted a drawing workshop. The participants were his former students.
October 23 marked the 8th death anniversary of the significant artist.
Passionate and introvert, Razzaque, shied away from the atmosphere of human preoccupation with fame, wealth and domination. With a long and chequered life, Razzaque gradually transformed himself into an abstract expressionist painter. His works were form and colour-oriented and nature was a recurring leitmotif in his works. His watercolours give us a serene and tranquil feeling which was one of the hallmarks of his works. He always enjoyed creating new forms and shapes that represented unfamiliar and unconventional facets. This avant-garde painter was associated with modern art movement in Bangladesh from its very early days. Razzaque was the student of the second batch of the Dhaka Art College (now the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka). His classmates included Murtaja Baseer, Rashid Chowdhury, Qayyum Chowdhury, Zunabul Islam, Ekramul Huq, Emdad Hossain, Humayun Kabir and others.
Razzaque's mediums of works included water colour, drawing (pen, ink, pencil, charcoal, pastel), print (etching, aquatint, lithograph, dry point, wood cut), sculpture (white cement, bronze, metal) oil colour and mixed medium. From the beginning of his career, he liked to work in different media and was always striving to unearth the mystery of nature and human beings. In his portrait sketches, he is profoundly true to the characters. The characters evoke soulful and touching emotion, which is very rare and unusual. Razzaque always tried to articulate the inner essence of nature in many of his works. It is noteworthy that he had a deep capacity to feel and respond to the beauty of nature in his works. He not only produced works, but also introduced an aesthetic and artistic element. Razzaque also did figurative work -- rural men, goldsmith, his companions, his parents, boatman, hard working people, boats, crows, indigenous flowers, people at leisure, and other facets. Razzaque's landscape transported the viewers far away from urban life. He arranged the motifs in different combinations of light and shade.
Razzaque liked to work in bold brush strokes, bright colours, light and shade that mark his figures and forms from the ambience around him. In his use of colours, he frequently went for vital colours from our natural world. He was increasingly imparting messages through his paintings and he was becoming more innovative, using his space to increasingly interact with his figures and objects. The finely honed and though provoking themes were really praiseworthy. His watercolours and oil paintings are highly impressive in their colour, tone and texture. These works are simultaneously of technical excellence and intellectually very mature.
The sculptural works by Razzaque at Joydevpur and other locations are largely figure-based. He also did many semi-abstract and purely abstract pieces which were also acclaimed by art enthusiasts. Always willing to experiment, he had a passion for creating art that was fresh and novel. These vary in media, materials and size. As mediums he has used cement, stone, steel, iron, bronze and wood. In metals he has used both the welding technique and casting. Wood, one of his favourite mediums, has been carved and shaped to give a touch of his adroit hand. In his figure-based works, Razzaque adds outstanding force and an animated quality.

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