16 May 2023

You are cordially invited to the opening of Organicity, an exhibition of drawings by Aminul Islam (1970s to 2000s) from the Abul Khair Collection, at 6.30 PM on Tuesday May 16, 2023.
The eminent writer Hasnat Abdul Hye will inaugurate the exhibition. Wakilur Rahman, artist and curator of the exhibition, will speak on the occasion. We look forward to your kind presence.

6.30 PM, Tuesday May 16, 2023
Level 3
Bengal Shilpalay, House 42, Road 27
Dhanmondi, Dhaka 1209


The exhibition is on view at Quamrul Hassan Exhibition Hall,
Level 1, Bengal Shilpalay, until Saturday 8 July 2023,
every day from 4 to 8 PM.
Entry is free and open for all. No food or drinks allowed inside. No professional cameras. No flash photography. Please cooperate with security personnel. To know more call 018 4405 0505 or write to +880 18 4405 0505

The composition of Aminul Islam’s drawings consists of vertical and horizontal lines that seamlessly merge into the blank paper. These lines appear to originate from the top and extend downwards, and from left to right, giving the impression of a continuous flow into the paper surface.
The lines possess an organic quality reminiscent of roots, and irregular poles inserted into the ground. They vary in thickness, resembling individual roots within a root system or tributaries in a river. The contrast between the black lines on the white background adds a geometric dimension. Intertwining tendrils connect the vertical lines, creating a sense of unity. The composition also includes wide, straight, curved, bold, rhythmic, swift, irregular, fragmented, spontaneous, angular, symmetrical, blurred, thicker, and shorter lines, strokes, circles, and dabs created using various tools. These lines seem trapped within their dark emanations, possibly representing different yet related themes or improvisations of the same theme. Each element harmoniously interacts with the previous ones, gradually shaping forms that may occasionally evoke images of a grand tree or a flowing river, although these interpretations remain open-ended.
The artist draws inspiration from natural designs and patterns, both real and imagined. They aim to represent and express the fundamental forms and units of life, encompassing biological, microbiological, and organic shapes. The artworks seek to capture the mysterious process of emergence and creation.

Wakilur Rahman, a visual artist and curator.

Aminul Islam was among the first graduates of the newly established Government Art Institute in Dhaka. He is also considered a forerunner of critical art-writing in Bangladesh. Following higher study in Florence and a tour of Europe in the fifties, Islam charted a new course that took him beyond sterile conventions to modernist expressions with forms, colour and perspective. His artworks are held in many private and institutional collections at home and abroad. In Dhaka, Islam’s mosaics and murals can be found in the headquarters of the Bangladesh Bank, the Janata Bank and the Osmani Memorial Hall.
In the early years, Aminul Islam’s left-leaning ideologies would not allow him to entirely banish figures from his work. An autobiographical streak runs through many of his early works. Gradually, the artist became increasingly aware of the different qualities of lines produced by pen, pencil, brush, bamboo, discarded brush and other objects. Characterized by great diversity, his drawings became increasingly geometrically organised. Islam developed the use of textures and compositions with intersecting, undulating forms. Culled from the Abul Khair Collection, the powerful drawings in the current exhibition reveal Islam’s mastery over lines and composition.
Aminul Islam taught at the Government Institute of Fine Art for almost three decades. There were nine solo exhibitions from 1956 to 2001 and 43 group exhibitions in the country and abroad. Islam received the Grand Imperial Prize at the 5th Tehran Biennale (1966), the Ekushey Padak (1981), and the Independence Award (1988), among other honours and awards
Born on 7 November 1932, Aminul Islam died on 8 July 2011 in Dhaka