Francisco Goya: Engravings
The show presented 84 engraved works of Francisco de Goya. The collection included works ranging from his first etchings, through which he mastered this difficult technique while interpreting Velazquez, to pieces from his four great original series: ‘Los Caprichos’, which depicts the vices of Spanish society using metaphors rife with fantasy; ‘Los Desastres de la Guerra’, which demonstrates the uselessness of violence; ‘La Tauromaquia’, a refuge from his disappointment with an irrational society; and ‘Los Disparates’, depicting his legacy of surrealist freedom.
The exhibition was jointly organised by Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts, the Spanish Embassy in Bangladesh and the Inditex Chair of Spanish Language and Culture, University of Dhaka, from the collection of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes of San Fernando.
S M Sultan: Second Sight
May – July 2014
Second Sight featured a selection of paintings and drawings by S M Sultan from the private collection of Abul Khair, Chair, Bengal Foundation. The exhibition attempted to find the artist in his works; it showed both the paintings for which Sultan became famous in Bangladesh, and sketches and drawings that he made as a young man. Sultan, who famously retreated close to the land and far from the outside art world, was deeply influenced by the character of the country he lived in.
S M Sultan (b. 1923, Narail district, then India, now Bangladesh; d. 1994) had a unique personal and artistic style; his predilection for themes of folklore and popular culture set him apart among artists in this country. The painter earned fame for his depictions of exaggeratedly muscular peasants, through which he conveyed energy and industry.
The Paradoxical Now
The exhibition presented the works of three emerging artists from Bangladesh – Anisuzzaman Sohel, Firoz Mahmud and Yasmin Jahan Nupur.
Each artist established a vantage-point in their work, presenting an examination of the form and nature of identity. This convergence in an infinite network of connections/separations, relationships/coincidences, sense/nonsense acted as a metaphorical lens that is trained on our common present – a ‘paradoxical now’.
Subtext: Text-based Art and Art-based-Text
Subtext was a culmination of texts, symbols and images which proposed to re-explore the relationship of text and image. A white cube was temporarily transformed into a reading room with an overlap between text-based art and art-based-text. An imaginary library was formed for the artists and art audience to test the symbiosis of form and meaning.
Subtext featured a display of two hundred fifty-six books on art across the world covering diverse subjects such as history, biography, theories, philosophy, manifestos and more. The intertwined play of art and texts were reflected in video, drawing and installation works by nine artists – Abir Shome, Bishwajit Goswami, Emran Sohel, Marzia Farhana, Mustafa Zaman, Palash Bhattacharjee, Razib Datta, Wakilur Rahman and Zihan Karim