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Dhaka Tribune

How the big names defined 'abstraction'

Update : 06 Feb 2016, 03:12 AM

In the section “rewind” of the Dhaka Art Summit, a holistic view was illustrated on how the big names in the history of art have defined “abstraction” in their very own ways.

The section features more than 90 works including tapestry, sculpture, photos and paintings. Thirteen artists associated with Bangladesh (Safiuddin Ahmed, Rashid Choudhury, SM Sultan), Burma (Germaine Krull, Bagyi Aung Soe), India (Monika Correa, Nalini Malani, Akbar Padamsee, Krishna Reddy, Arpita Singh), Pakistan (Zahoor ul Akhlaq, Anwar Jalal Shemza), and Sri Lanka (Lionel Wendt) were present at the section.

Art lovers flock to the third edition of Dhaka Art Summit on Friday    Photo- Syed Zakir Hossain

Curator Amara Anatilla explained how three generations of artists have responded to shifting cultural, political, and social contexts with experiments in abstraction, or the relationship between representation and abstraction.

“If you see the works of artists from the western world, you'll find the dominance of industrialisation there. They have featured buildings, cities which represent an international aspect. On the other hand, the Bangladeshi artists or artists of South Asia are more focused on rural and folk materials,” Amara told the Dhaka Tribune.

Shukla Sawant, a professor of visual studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, who came to visit the exhibition, said: “The motive of such exhibitions is to familiarise people with the languages of art. Although the context differs, any form of art would register some form of emotion anyway. It is a form of communication.”

Sawant is also a speaker at the “Critical Writing Ensemble,” to be held on Sunday as part of the Dhaka Art Summit.

Regarding “Rewind,” she said: “I am much fond of Zainul Abedin and Nisar Hossain. Their paintings mostly project landscapes with the essence of colonialism. Colonialism was re-imagined in the late 19th century; the problems of land shifts and relationship.”

“I also like that they are not 'great big oil' paintings, rather idea based fragile ones. The ones to which you can connect more easily,” she added.



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