Glimpses of contemporary trends
Orchid Gallery’s art collection on display
Published : Monday, 27 January, 2020 at 12:00 AM Count : 98
Orchid Gallery of Fine Arts, a newly established art gallery at Bashundhara Residential Area in the city intends to promote Bangladeshi artists on a global scale. The gallery's plan is to give recognition to the talents in our country and represent the wide range of styles and techniques that are being mastered by our artists.
At the exhibition, the gallery has displayed the works of established artists and a number of earnest painters in our country. The exhibition will definitely help the art connoisseurs and enthusiasts to get a clear concept about Bangladeshi contemporary art.
A versatile individual in arts, Abdur Razzaque was not only immersed in the sculpture medium, but print making, painting and watercolour were also among his favourite media of expression. He showed outstanding evidence in both creativity and skill in each branch. Particularly, his watercolours give us a serene and tranquil feeling which was one of the hallmarks of his works. He not only produced works, but also introduced an aesthetic and artistic element. His landscape transported the viewers far away from urban life. He arranged the motifs in different combinations of light and shade.
Qayyum Chowdhury was one of the distinguished figures of first generation artists of the country who had immense contributions to contemporary Bangladeshi art. He produced many paintings in different mediums. His works delve deep into folk, pastoral life and traditions. Most of his works highlight folk elements; and the recurring motifs are birds, greenery, flowers, fish, rural women carrying pitchers, peasants, freedom fighters, lush foliage and bulls. His realistic and semi-realistic works on the Bangladeshi countryside were marked by his lucid and personal technique. Tactile, sharp and stirring colours give that depth and shape to his drawings and paintings.
Samarjit Roy Chowdhury's immense contribution to Bangladeshi art particularly folk painting, has earned him national and international acclaim. The USP of Samarjit's paintings is an in-depth observation of rural Bengal and folk life - simple harmonic patterns, rural motifs, a tranquil ambiance and childhood nostalgia. His paintings are a deep cognizance of pastoral Bengal and folk life - pastoral designs, serene atmospheres and personal reminiscences of early days. The painter feels that reminiscence has a great link with his creative life. In his early days, Samarjit was preoccupied with the pictorial aspect of life, bringing in motifs like birds, fishes, boats and human being early years. These assembled impetus over the year. His center of attention changed from the tangible reality to a kaleidoscopic inner meaning of nature. His form s and treatment of colours remain intense. His concern for folk motifs and decorative patterns spread his message all over the canvas. In his paintings, the discovery of chiaroscuro (pictorial representation in terms of light and shade without regard to colour) led to create lyrical and dramatic compositions. He has used circles, rectangles, squares and so on. He considers these as part of the environment.
As one of the veterans who stepped into the art scene in the late 1960s, Rafiqun Nabi has always shown a definitive dedication to a highly stylized diction. Drawing his inspiration from a wide range of subject matters, in his landscape and other peopled and unpeopled imagery, he aligns the empirical with the formal with an eye to inflecting the end results with human empathy. In his recent oeuvre, play of shadow, achieved through manipulating tonal variation, becomes a central meditation leading mostly to enhancement of the visual appeal of the represented subjects consisting of fishermen, peasants, boats and landscape. These are the points of reference that serve to define the contours of his compositions mediated through patterns extraneous to these elements.
Abdus Shakoor Shah is widely recognised for his folk motifs and ballads. Over a large span of his career, the artist has been working on folk motifs and ancient ballads. Folk ballads of Mymensingh-the famous Mahua and Malua love stories, Nakshi Kanthar Maath, Gazir Pata, Manasha Pata have found prominent places in his works. Shakoor uses animal figures such as elephants, bulls, dogs, cats, tigers, parrots, peacocks, birds and serpents -- all as pleasant and decorative motifs. Blue, black, yellow, white and crimson are used predominantly, giving a meditative approach to Shakoor's characters.
Shahabuddin Ahmed is celebrated for his figurative propositions through which he often exteriorises drama of movement. Beginning his career in the early 1970s, a point of history when a new generation of artists was struggling to make the best out of the post-liberation era situation, he started to draw attention as a painter given to intense emotion while exploring human and animal forms. Connected to the concept of the Bengali national identity, his signature trait is often animated by sweeps of brush strokes and painterly contrivances leading to the illusionistic imagery.
Mohammad Eunus is a workaholic painter. His modes of expression are pure abstraction and abstract expressionism. He frequently changes the arrangement of his forms and compositions as well as the overall structure of his paintings (included oil, acrylic and mixed mediums). Eunus builds up his lines, forms and textures in an individual mode. He also frequently searches the boundaries of expressions with diverse geometric and architectural shapes. Scribbles, lines, arrows, broken lines, loops and curls, squares, oval and other forms are also included in the artist's works.
Ahmed Shamsuddoha set out as a landscape painter but eventually moved to surrealism in the beginning of the '90s. He has been greatly influenced by eminent surrealist painters Salvador Dali and Boris Vallejo. He frequently uses local motifs or elements in his paintings but his style and approach are very close to surrealism. There are a few common motifs that frequently feature on Shamsuddoha's canvas. He often uses the forms of Kathgolap (a local flower), wooden easel, dry twigs, broken clay pot, branches, tiny plant, crystal balls etc. Figures are missing in most of his paintings. Varied abstract images also come to his works.
Unquestionably, Sheikh Afzal is one of the leading realist painters of the late'80s of the last century. Being always intrinsically concerned about socio-economic issues, Afzal has used realism prodigiously to reflect the original unaltered picture of the harsh lives of underprivileged people in the country. He began his career as a naturist painter, depicting the panoramic world with its rich abundance of hues, views, light, shade and serenity.
Samiran Chowdhury is now recognised as a pure abstract painter and prefers to highlight in pleasant splendour the themes of the spiritual world and emotions. His paintings, infused with great spiritual intensity, engage the viewer with great emotional force, inspiring contemplation and meditation. He considers pure colour to be the means of expressing emotions. Samiran's abstractions are composition and form based. Colour composition and some unusual forms are also added in his works.
Through the exhibits of a number of major contemporary painters, one can easily comprehend the current trends of Bangladeshi art. The painters have used varied styles and approaches. It is true that our painters have a great fascination with both pure abstraction and pure realism. However, it is also apparent that a number of painters have tried to depict a perspective of social, political and cultural inequity, political fluctuation and other contemporary issues.
The writer is an art critic and curator.