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The first recorded art work which used charcoal as a medium was a cave painting, it is a detailed Ibex on the wall of Niaux cave in France. Several cave charcoal works are as old 40,000 years. In the 15th century Albercht Durer brought charcoal to the realm of art and later, in the 20th century Matisse and Picasso enriched the body of art with this most versatile of media.


Our very own iconic artist Zainul Abedin made his own charcoal to record the Great Famine on ordinary packing paper, proving that masterpieces did not require a costly medium. His extraordinary art lay the stepping stones for today’s promising artists like Anukul Chandra Mojumder.


When drawing across a paper, charcoal connects the mind with the work through an invisible line, quite visceral, even sensual. Just like pencil, it is a dry drawing medium requiring canvas with a fine texture. But other common surfaces include fabrics, rocks, stones, earthenware, concrete walls, etc. Even the techniques used are rather pencil-like; such as hatching, rubbing, blending and lifting. Indeed, over the centuries the smooth soft blackness of this unique medium has captivated artists’ attention.


The blacks of the artist Anukul’s lines take on a softer, granular quality as he masterfully transfers the charcoal to the canvas.  At the same time the pulsating luminosity of color, the classic medium of abstract art, is rendered in partly transparent, partly translucent juxtapositions. The figurative is tempered with the abstract in perfect harmony, resulting in magical storytelling.



Exhibition Dates: 27 April – 18 May 2019

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