Rejaul Karim is an artist who stepped slowly into his career. He was involved in student politics in the ’60s and played a significant role during the major movements of that era. He gathered varied experiences over the decades. Initially Karim’s canvas featured figurative forms and panoramic beauty. His figures clearly delineated struggle and pain. Over the past decade, however, Karim engrossed himself in pure abstraction.
At this stage, his works are mainly colour and texture oriented. Subdued colours, varied tiny lines and unfamiliar objects are the highlights. Transparency is another noticeable trait in his works, as he uses thin colours and the brushstrokes are very delicate.
Karim’s solo exhibition, titled “Twilight Zone”, is now on at Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts, Dhanmondi.
The artist’s first solo exhibition was held in 1967 at Mymensingh Town Hall and received a warm response. The works were based on everyday rural life and scenic beauty.
Karim’s works can be divided into two phases. Prior to the ’90s, he produced realistic and semi-realistic works. During that period, the prolific artist tried to reflect the atmosphere around him.
After the ’90s, Karim changed his style. The sensitive use of colours and bold lines refer to his extensive experience and his experimentation. His lines look more delicate as they create a distinct language. Most of his works have marked an open space where colours are the only foremost feature. The textures of handmade paper have become more distinct with the amount of diminutive use of acrylic.
When one looks at Karim’s works closely, blend of lines and tones are apparent. But the interesting thing is that the lines and tones do not have a chaotic or monotonous impact. The images remain etched in mind for their pure forms and unusual appearance.
Karim’s monochromic images provide dreamy visions. The artist has brought about unpleasant memories, autumn, song of a rainy day, bathing woman, harvest, village life and the memory of victory day. But repetition (a number of series such as Towards Victory, Towards Home) in his collection is also noticeable.
The exhibition ends on December 19.