One of the most influential early twentieth century artists Abanindranath Tagore created a distinctive Indian art style by fusing many eastern art styles, said speakers at a seminar on Saturday at Sufia Kamal Auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum.
Dhaka University history professor Sonia Nishat Amin presented the key-note paper at the seminar, which was organised by the museum.
Art-critic Mustafa Zaman and professor of DU Parween Hasan were present at the seminar as discussants. Bangla Academy director general Shamsuzzaman Khan presided over the programme.
Sonia Nishat Amin, in her paper titled ‘Arabian Nights: The Cultural Palimpsest of Abanindranath Tagore’, analysed how Abanindranath Tagore was inspired by different eastern, especially Indian, art styles to create a totally new and unique art style.
‘Like a palimpsest where later writing is superimposed on earlier effaced writings, Abanindranath Tagore used both classic and subaltern art styles to create what we now call modern art of India’, said professor Amin.
Abanindranath used Mughal art style, drew widely from Islamic art, borrowed Japanese and Chinese styles and also experimented with folk paintings to create new type of Indian painting, said Amin referring to Abanindranath’s 1930 Arabian Nights series which depicts the stories of the famous collection of Middle Eastern folk tales, which is known as Arabian Nights.
Referring to Nobel Laureate poet TS Eliot’s famous essay Tradition and the Individual Talent, professor Parween Hasan evaluated Abanindranath Tagore as an ‘individual talent with a firm foot on tradition- Indian and Asian’.
Mustafa Zaman analysed Abanindranath Tagore as an artist who through his socio-critical and political art pieces explored many themes including modernism, nationalism, colonialism and others.
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