Rafiqun Nabi displays artworks of five decadesCultural Correspondent
Eminent artist Rafiqun Nabi is displaying a glimpse of his kaleidoscopic journey of over five decades in art in his retrospective show at the Bengal Shilplaya in Dhanmondi, Dhaka.
The show, Quest for Reality, features 120 selected artworks in different mediums done since 1960s by the artist. The gallery has organised the retrospective show to celebrate artist’s 70th birth anniversary.
The earliest painting on exhibition is a painting done in 1962, the year when Nabi was only 19 years old. The water colour painting titled Landscape displays cattle grazing on a huge field set on a rustic backdrop of a village.
The exhibition also displays the artist’s latest artworks done in 2013. Such a painting depicts Tokai - a signature character created by Nabi that addresses socio-political issues through portrayal of a street child - leaning on a lamppost playing with some crows on the street.
The subject matters in the artworks by the artist are just as diverse. Nabi illustrates subjects like village life, domestic animals, and beautiful natural scenes; he also addresses the strenuous life of general people like the fishermen, day labourers, street children and others.
A 2001 charcoal on paper artwork titled Musician depicts a bard playing a dotara, while the 1967 watercolor painting titled Santals-6 portrays a santal mother carrying her baby child on her hip.
The one thing common in Nabi’s paintings is his use of vivid colours. The oil painting titled Fishermen at Rest, done in 2006, shows a group of fishermen resting by the river after an exhausting fishing session. The painting also depicts a huge river with several boats floating on it in the horizon. The artist plays with the colours by contrasting vivid blue coloured river with the black bodies of fishermen and their boats, which instantly arrests the visitors’ attention.
Another very colourful painting by the artist is Fallen Vases: Still Life, an oil on canvas painting of 2002. Nabi has painted several vases with beautiful flowers set in a haphazard manner that almost urges the onlookers to solve the mystery.
As an artist with diversity, Nabi never confined himself in any particular medium. And that is why the exhibition displays his artworks created throughout his career almost in all possible mediums including water, oil, acrylic, charcoal, ink, wood cut, drawings and many others.
A slum had been depicted by Nabi with pen and wash on paper in his 1967 artwork titled Basti. While a 1974 artwork portraying a woman was done by etching. Nabi also has used woodcut on paper as in Open Window, a 1989 artwork.
Inaugurated on December 07, the exhibition will remain open from 12:00pm to 8:00pm everyday till December 19.
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