Kalidas Karmakar: The legendary innovator passes away

Tanzil Rahaman | Published: 17:56, Oct 18,2019 | Updated: 00:35, Oct 19,2019

 
 

In this file photo taken on the first week of July, 2019, Kalidas Karmakar poses for a photo in his residence during an interview with New Age. — Sony Ramany

Internationally acclaimed painter and printmaker Kalidas Karmakar, who immensely enriched the country’s art scene and contributed in placing it on the global map through his innovative mixed media works, performances and prints, passed away on Friday, October 18, afternoon. He was 75.

‘He fell down in the bathroom after suffering a stroke at around 1:10pm at his residence in the capital’s Eskaton. He was rushed to Labaid Specialised Hospital where the doctor declared him dead,’ said Prasanta Karmaker, the artist’s brother.

Kalidas Karmakar’s body was later taken to BIRDEM General Hospital, where it will be kept till the arrival of his two daughters who live in the US.

When contacted, noted sculptor Hamiduzzaman Khan said, ‘I and Kalidas got admitted to the Institute of Fine Arts in the same year. He was a very close friend of mine and I was close to his family members as well. I have travelled to a number of places with him as he loved  globe trotting. He later went to Kolkata to learn more about printmaking. He is considered to be one of the best printmakers in Bangladesh’.

‘He exhibited his works at numerous solo exhibitions both at home and aboard. He also explored contemporary and modern artistic idioms. He had an elegant and flamboyant personality. He will live on through his works,’ added Hamiduzzaman Khan.

Ekushey Padak winning artist Samarjit Roy Chowdhury said, ‘Kalidas Karmakar is not only an expert in printmaking, in which he excelled, but also all other disciplines of fine arts. He was a travel buff who was always busy travelling around and he exhibited his works in many cities across the globe. His artworks are appreciated in numerous countries and he always tried to explore new ideas and thoughts. His contribution cannot be magnified in mere words. He will be remembered through his creations.’

Acclaimed artist Ranjit Das said, ‘Kalidas Karmakar was a dynamic artist who bestowed a lot to the country’s art scene. He has put local art on the global stage. He has encouraged a lot of young artists to explore printmaking and helped them gain a firm footing on the horizon of art. May his departed soul rest in peace.’

Kalidas Karmakar was an advisor to the Gallery Cosmos.

He was born on January 10, 1946, in Faridpur and completed his graduation from the Government College of Fine Arts and completed his preliminary degree in fine arts at the Institute of Fine Arts, Dhaka University in 1964. He later joined Crafts in Kolkata in 1969.

He had more than 40 solo exhibitions at home and abroad. The countries he visited and had exhibitions in included Poland, United States, India, Japan, Iran, Italy, Korea and Hong Kong.

Kalidas Karamakar emerged in the art scene in the 1970s with his metal collages and later developed his signature images in reference to Tantric signs and symbols.  

He was awarded Shilpakala Padak in 2016 and the Ekushey Padak in 2018 for his contribution to fine arts.

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