Highest French title for Shahabuddin
Bangladeshi painter of international repute, Shahabuddin Ahmed has been conferred with France's highest civilian title in 2014 for his contribution to art. The Paris-based 64 year old artist received, last September, the much-coveted Chevalier De L'ordre Des Arts Et Des Lettres (Knight in the Order of Fine Arts and Humanities) by the Ministry for Cultural Affairs and Communication of France.
Shahabuddin has been living in Paris since 1975, the year he obtained a scholarship at Ecole des Beaux-arts de Paris where he went for higher studies.
Known for his bold representation of muscular men leaping across decontextualized infinite expanse of space, the painter, whose work has once featured among the stalwarts in the Olympiads of the Arts, Barcelona, in 1992, was happy to have received such honour as he feels 'the award will enhance the image of the country and inspire Bangladeshi people living across the world,' according to a Daily Star report.
Shahabuddin Ahmed is the second Bangladeshi to receive the title. The famed mime artist and actor, Partha Pratim Majumder was first to receive the award in 2011.
As a painter Shahabuddin epitomizes the spirit of the Liberation War. A freedom fighter himself, his painterly canvases brought him national attention immediately after the independence. Born on September 11, 1950, Shahabuddin's impassionedly worked images characterized by bold sweeps of paint which accentuate the dynamism of human figures he represents, are symbols attached to the nationalist ethos.
Shahabuddin studied at the College of Arts and Crafts (now, Faculty of Fine arts, University of Dhaka) and obtained his Bachelor's degree in 1973. Joining the liberation war as a platoon commander had left a lasting impact on his art, which are expressions brought to existence from a performative body always ready to articulate the 'particular' through painterly conceits of expressionistic ambition. Thus the freedom fighters he is habituated to paint can easily be seen in the context of men's leap towards existential freedom – a graduation of the bodily being into a state of utopian being – one who is ready to break out of the socially-contextually definable mould.
Shahbuddin exhibited in many galleries across the globe including the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland and Bourg-en-Bresse Museum France. As he often divides his time between Paris and Dhaka, on the home front, he received Best Award in Painting, Young Artists Art Exhibition, in 1982; Honourable Mention Award, in the 3rd Asian Art Biennale, in 1986. He received the Shadhinata Padak, highest national honour, in 2000.
- DEPART DESK