Baseer: An Eloquent Mind'-- an art exhibition is underway at Bengal Shilpalay and will continue till January 16 next year. This three- month long exhibition is commemorating the veteran Bangladeshi artist Murtaja Baseer who breathed his last this August. Being one of the pioneers of surrealist art in the country, Murtaja Baseer contributed to Bangladesh's arts and culture greatly. With his own idiosyncratic impression in art, he touched all art-forms and mediums. Apart from arts and painting, the Ekushe Padak and Independence Award winner has been also known as a poet, a short-story writer, researcher, film-maker, art director and many more.
Starting from portraits, woodcuts, his photographed pictures, drawings, paintings, sketches, his directed and scripted films, books, some old catalogues of his early exhibitions- including his most famous catalogues are being displayed in the exhibition.
Some of Murtaja Baseer's most remarkable and powerfully evocative works like Tribute to the Language Movement 1952, Tribute to the War of Independence 1971, The Kalima Tayyiba, Deyal, Shahid-Shironam, Pakha and a study of Somnambule Ballad are the biggest attractions of the exhibition. His noteworthy portraits of Shamsur Rahman and Aminul Islam, self-portraits and other oil-painted portraits also found place in the exhibition. Also, some of his series paintings- 'Epitaph for the Martyrs,' 'Jyoti,' 'Wing' and 'Wall' are available.
The film 'Nodi o Nari' is being projected as well. Murtaja was the art director, screenplay writer and chief assistant director in this film. An image compilation of his artworks is running alongside the film. Apart from all these, Baseer's collection of coins and currency, painted matchbox, letters, posters, and old catalogues make the exhibition further interesting. A Bangladeshi note of taka 40 marking the 40th victory anniversary of Bangladesh with an art of Baseer has also been placed in the exhibition.
Although, COVID-19 pandemic has kept many exhibitions at bay since March, this particular exhibition has no safety concern. To maintain enough hygiene, authorities are allowing only 10 people at a time to the exhibition hall. The exhibition is free of cost. One can find the displayed artworks at Quamrul Hasan Exhibition Gallery of Bengal Shilpalay, Dhanmondi-- everyday except Sundays, from 3 pm to 8 pm.
The writer is currently studying at the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism at University of Dhaka. She can be reached at [email protected]