This reticent artist was so reclusive that his footsteps even were petit. He was one of the main artists who took part in the movement at the beginning of the institutional art practice of this country. He, along with Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin and others, played an important role in the foundation of the Dhaka Art College (now the Faculty of Fine Arts of Dhaka University). We are talking about Independence Day Award and Ekushey Padak winning artist Safiuddin Ahmed.
The modernity that was introduced in our country`s art by Safiuddin Ahmed was attained by him. This art was touched by legerity and showcased the utmost love for color. Along with the creativity of the painting in Bangladesh, the two artists who have propagated an idealistic personality in the individual form of artists, are Zainul Abedin and Safiuddin Ahmed. Safiuddin Ahmed always reflected the role of an ideal artist. In addition to the creativity of the artists of Bangladesh, Zainul and Safiuddin were exemplary in the form of personality.
Safiuddin Ahmed was the pioneer of printmaking in Bangladesh. In 1958 he completed the diploma courses Etching & Engraving from Central School of Arts and Crafts, London, UK with distinction. After the establishment of the Government Art Institute of Bangladesh in 1948, he was the head of the Department of Printmaking till 1980. In the year 1945, he received the President`s Gold Medal of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kolkata. The language movement of 1952 and the Great Liberation War of 1971 were elongated through his artwork. The main colors of his work are soft and covered with romanticism. The reality derived from around came many times in his work. He was awarded Ekushey Padak in 1978 and Independence Day Award in 1996 by the Government of Bangladesh.
Safiuddin Ahmed is the successor to `impressionist artists`. But in this way, the character and individuality of Bengal perfectly have been explored. Since 1958, he participated in many group exhibitions abroad. He attracted the attention of Indian artists for some of his extraordinary works. Bangladeshi artists Qayyum Chowdhury, Hashem Khan, Abul Barek Alvi, Farida Zaman, Abul Khair, Subir Chowdhury, were inspired by his work.
This great art preceptor has led the glory of Bangladesh`s art for a long time. He was active in art in his eighties. However, he was suffering from old age complications and many diseases in the last phase of his life. One of the pioneers of our modern art movement breathed his last on May 20, 2012. On his death anniversary, we remember this reclusive artist with great respect.
Bangla Insider/ SM