Master artists’ show at MuseumCultural Correspondent
An exhibition of artworks by 27 pioneering artists of modern art of Bangladesh is going on at the Nalini Kanta Bhattasali Gallery of Bangladesh National Museum. The show titled ‘A Special Exhibition of Paintings and Sculptures of the Pre-Liberation Period’ is displaying 71 rare artworks done between 1933 and 1971.
Artworks of master artists including Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin, Quamrul Hasan, SM Sultan, Novera Ahmed, Safiuddin Ahmed, Anwarul Haque, Abdur Razzak, Mohammad Kibria, Mostafa Monwar, among others, are put on display at the show.
The paintings visit themes like opulent beauty of rural Bangla, rivers, green fields, farmers, fishermen, historical places, life of semi-urban dwellers, traditional festivity, women, village market, livestock, natural calamity and man-made disasters.
Fourteen rare paintings on display by Zainul Abedin, including the iconic scroll painting ‘Manpura’ (960cm into 105 cm), done in ink and brush, to commemorate the hundreds of thousands people who died in the devastating cyclone of 1970, show his dynamic style and devotion.
Some of his rare sketches also depicted haunting images of the man-made famine of 1943 that had spread throughout Bengal, killing hundreds of thousands innocent people.
‘When I stand in front of the ‘Manpura’ painting, I am just shaken upon seeing its magnitude and refined view. But, I was also shocked to see that the work is coated with a cheap plastic’, said artist Wahiduzzaman.
‘Novera Ahmed’s sculpture “Family” and Rashid Chowdhury’s tapestry “Nabanna” looked mind-blowing to me. SM Sultan’s works could be presented in a more comprehensive way.’ added Wahiduzzaman.
Government Eden College student Taslima Akter said ‘Through the exhibition, I can get a glimpse of the then socio-political aspects of the agriculture based Bengal. Besides “Nabanna”, the theme is revisited on many artworks by Anwarul Haque, Rashid Chowdhury, Samarjit Roy Chowdhury. Bijon Chowdhury’s painting “Kabi Gaan” and Abdur Rouf’s “Puthi Path” also narrate the rich culture of rural Bangla.’
Artists Abul Bark Alvi, Nisar Hossain, Muniruzzaman and art critic Moin Uddin Khaled have selected the 71 artworks from among a collection of over 3500 artworks of the department of Contemporary Art and World Civilization of BNM. The number of artworks, 71, signifies the year of 1971.
Organised by the Museum, the exhibition is to mark the 100th founding anniversary of BNM, as part of its two-year celebration programme on the occasion of the recently ended first Dhaka Art Summit.
The exhibition, which began on April 13, will end today.
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