Artist Mohammad Ibrahim is displaying a selection of his works at an untitled retrospective at the National Art Gallery of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
The artworks – 97 paintings and drawings – were created over the last four decades, the earliest of them dating back to 1973 while the latest was done in 2016.
In a way, the selection chronicles the changes and mediums that Mohammad Ibrahim had gone through as an artist, both in style and subject, as well as his experimentations with theme and presentation.
All the works were kept decidedly untitled, as if he wanted them to be judged solely by their merits instead of influencing the viewers’ judgement – or their understanding – by attributing titles to them.
The first thing one would notice is the artist’s penchant for representation of nature both in realistic and abstract styles. There are some portraits on handmade papers that show his skills in combining human faces and natural elements to produce a unique effect.
A close look will also reveal the changes that occurred in his styles and mediums. For example, most works before 2000 were done in oil, while his post-2000 works were dominated by acrylics.
Moreover, vibrant colours were a prominent feature in his earlier works but later works show a shift in choice for more subdued colours.
As for style, his earlier works were mostly figurative, while his later works are abstract and often marked by a skilled use of geometric forms and lines.
In his 1992 oil paintings, for example, Mohammad Ibrahim juxtaposed human figures with natural elements to create a setting in which all are of similar importance to nature.
On the other hand, his most recent acrylic paintings, done in soothing and soft-colour compositions, are evocative of the beauty of nature.
The exhibition, which was inaugurated on January 6, will remain open for the public until January 15.
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