A Touch Of Ecstasy

April 24, 2011

Syed Abdullah Khalid’s solo exhibition
Syed Abdullah Khalid is regarded as one of the most brilliant sculptors of our country. He is mainly recognised for his ‘Aparajeyo Bangla’, one of the most familiar sculptures, and considered a landmark, in Dhaka. A multi-talented artist, Khalid has not only excelled in sculpture but also made an impression with his paintings.
Khalid’s solo painting exhibition, titled “Symphony of Colours”, is now on at Galleri Kaya in Uttara.
Throughout the ’80s and ’90s the artist had been active. Khalid likes to use a big canvas for portraying untamed nature, landscapes and still life. Losing himself in nature, the artist often takes themes from this opulent source and plays with colours on canvas. He occasionally likes to experiment with different forms and enjoys breaking and constructing them in many ways. Blossoming flowers and dense forests are recurring features in his paintings. In many of Khalid’s works, one finds a great interchange between abstract and realistic forms.
The ongoing exhibition marks Khalid’s return to the Bangladeshi art scene after a hiatus of 12 years. His last exhibition was held in 1998 at Gallery 21 (the gallery is now defunct).
At the current exhibition, Khalid’s focus is on colour and its various facets. He also experiments with amorphous forms, which have been meticulously used in his works. The artist has applied colours directly, piling up thick and at times thin layers on the canvas, and has created images that are bold and dynamic. Strong brushstrokes make a textural statement in his works which have not been intentionally done. At times, he has deliberately created a texture according to the paintings’ requirements. He concentrates more on the application aspect and this trait creates a hallmark.
In his long chequered life, Khalid has gradually transformed his style into pure impressionism, where colour is the main focal point in his paintings and forms have been diluted there appropriately. In his use of materials and tints, he frequently goes for the bold and natural.
Most of the paintings at the exhibition were done between 2001 and 2006. After 2006, Khalid was seriously ill and could not produce a single painting. From the beginning of this year he started concentrating on painting again. The works have been mostly done in acrylic; and there are a few oil paintings.
Khalid’s paintings generally symbolise the romantic notion that the delights of this world have short shelf life. The paintings with flowers by Khalid are sometimes characterised by loose brushstrokes, simple forms and contrasting colours. He has discarded the careful shading and colour transitions of botanical illustrations in favour of a fresh look that unabashedly declares the role of artistic interpretation to be more important than careful accuracy.
The artist has also used outlining (the shapes) and strong lighting contrasts in his paintings and he has also rejected the tradition of profound space and viewpoint that have been prominent in art for centuries. His works stay near the surface of the painting, emphasising the materials of art rather than the illusions of art.
The result is a shimmering effect that has helped to keep his paintings among the most recognisable images in the contemporary art scene.
The exhibition will continue till April 29.


Courtesy of The Daily Star

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