Published by Skira. Text by Abul Monsur, Nazrul Islam, Abul Hasnat. Edited by Rosa Maria Falvo.
The genesis of the modern art movement in Bangladesh traces back to the partition of India (1947) and the establishment of the Dhaka Art Institute in 1948 by ‘Shilpacharya’ (guru of art) Zainul Abedin and several of his contemporaries, who arrived in Dhaka from Kolkata where they had trained.
This is the defining volume in the Bengal Foundation series of monographs dedicated to the great master artists of Bangladesh. Beautifully illustrated, with stunning fold outs, this book is the only comprehensive survey of Zainul Abedin’s work to date, illustrating his special relationship with his country from various artistic, social, and political perspectives.
For his devotion to art education and his visionary and artistic achievements, Zainul Abedin has always been the undisputed protagonist of the Bangladeshi modern art scene. In 1943, he produced a series of renowned sketches depicting the Bengal Famine, in which millions of people perished. Abedin’s haunting images brought him all-India fame. His indigenous brand of realism, coupled with his social inquiry and protest proved vital in different moments in Bangladesh’s history, such as the Liberation War in 1971. Abedin did more than just make art; he wanted art to permeate all our lives. This exceptional retrospective monograph is a fitting tribute to his lifelong mission and a unique insight into Bangladeshi art and culture.
Rosa Maria Falvo is a writer and curator, and Skira’s international commissions editor, specializing in Asian contemporary art and photography. Abul Monsur is a respected art critic and a professor of art history at the University of Chittagong in Bangladesh. Nazrul Islam is a former professor of geography and ex-chairman of the grants commission at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Abul Hasnat is the editor of ‘Kali O Kalam’, Bengali literary journal, and ‘Shilpa O Shilpi’, Bengali arts quarterly.