Glancing into feminine curvaceous splendor and disadvantaged community
Jamal Ahmed's solo show opens tomorrow at Galleri Kaya
Published : Friday, 9 November, 2018 at 12:00 AM Count : 288
Realism began as an art movement in the early nineteenth century in France in a bid to represent people and their everyday realities through precise observation. The artistic movement, "realism" is distinct from the word "realism"-the latter an aspect of most figurative art throughout time. It challenged centuries of tradition in Europe which saw the uppermost art's desire to idealise pictorial forms and gallant subjects.
In Bangladesh, realism has been practiced since the inception of our art movement in the early 1950s. Artists transformed their modes of expression into varied genres of art. After independence, a number of painters started to expose their creativities through realism and subsequently Jamal Ahmed's name came to prominence during the mid '80s.
After graduation from the Institute of Fine Arts (presently the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka), he developed himself by taking higher education from Poland and Japan. The education assisted him to comprehend and plunge deep into his subjects and explore novelty of topics.
The current exhibition is quite unique because Jamal has chiefly worked with charcoal medium and sometimes soft pastel on paper and canvas. It is very noticeable that the painter has massively used charcoal on canvas that is undoubtedly complicated to handle and can bring a permanent imprint on canvas. Spraying of fixative has to be adequate enough to keep the charcoal a bright and animated look. Jamal likes to experiment with bold lines and he has a great ability to bring an appealing view to his works where one can get a taste of pure realism.
Charcoal---the medium's individual trait is bold, courageous and impressive and it's much darker than any pencil and has a lavishness where one can get a touch of liberty. This is also a flexible medium for Jamal, because the medium helps him to provide a realistic sensation about his characters' sensibilities, articulations and gestures splendidly. Charcoal sticks particularly force him to focus on large shapes and realistic contours because of their blunt ends.
At the exposition, Jamal has been successfully projecting nubile women in all their voluptuous beauty, gypsy women, banks of Buriganga River with semi-urban sights and more. Pigeons and horses are also prominent in some of his works. The painter also rose to prominence for limning different types of horses. At the exhibition, some of his horses have its front hoofs in the air. He has meticulously drawn the front side of the horse which is in gray and black. His spontaneous lines capture the speed, power and energy of the vigorous animal. They have become symbolic of the energy, aggression and power of modern times and of his own untamed youthful spirit and a sense of liberty.
Jamal always chooses a certain language in order to explain the stories of his paintings lively. He has been enthusiastically studying movements of figures and arrangements of compositions for a long time. In this sense, the artist is very cautious about his composition and arrangement of figures. The painter is recognised for his intrepid approach and he crosses great lengths to describe his topics. From the commencing of his career, his prime concerns have been transparent beauty of nature, people's ecstasy, bliss, longing, pain and yearning.
Jamal has acquired an enigmatic quality in his paintings that works on many levels from the visual to the subconscious. Subject matter includes depictions of the mind-boggling female figure and people of all ages and situations including old men and women from poorer social classes. The figures are superbly drawn and their facial expressions carry both jovial and gloomy mood.
Realism is his specialty; Jamal's works depict the exact quality of drapery or the skin tone of a man or woman. He has achieved mastery in capturing the quality of light and shade. For a long time, it has been clearly observed that his calm and deeply meditative landscape alludes to harmony in nature. He has portrayed the bank of Buriganga River, which come to his paintings from different angles. It has been clearly noticeable that the artist has an in-depth understanding of landscape. Glancing along the progressing calm waves of the river he adequately gives a look of the semi-urban riverbanks of Dhaka that is typical of a developing megacity.
Some of Jamal's figural compositions convey a great sense of rapture. Many of his shadowy drawings are lyrical and spontaneous. His sketches are powerful in their tone of lines and serenity. The charcoal sketches, in particular, are very lively and thought provoking. At times, his figures look poignant and help us think about their experiences. His intimate study of human beings and nature allows him to get to the core of his theme. The artist muses to display their everyday woes and bliss on his canvas. Romance has also been primarily focused in a number of artworks in the current exhibition. Pigeons in couples and in cuddling positions are presented as symbols of lasting love.
Over the years, Jamal has brilliantly portrayed many people from different segments of the society. Firstly he tries to get grip of the character of the personality he endeavours to portray. For him, painting is an interpretation of tone through the medium of pigment illuminated with charcoal. The width of his sticks of charcoal varies considerably, with fine points being used for subtle details of faces, in contrast to the comprehensive strokes up which he has used to foreground his desired subjects. The painter has achieved mastery in capturing the quality of light in his paintings.
Tranquility is one of the vital components in Jamal's works. Smoothness is another noticeable feature in his works and his paintings are easily comprehensible because of the subject's simplicity, malleable ground and subdued tone. At the ongoing exhibition, after observing Jamal's works critically, one gets the feeling that some of his charcoals carry a great range of tonalities -- soft and seemingly transparent. The objects of his works are in a melancholic mood, which has been repetitively focused on.