Dhaka, July 6 (UNB) - A two-week long solo art exhibition of young artist Farzana Rahman Bobby titled ‘The Soul of The Soil’ has kicked off at Gallery Shilpangan in the capital’s Dhanmondi area.
Renowned artist Monirul Islam inaugurated the exhibition on the gallery premises on Friday evening while artist and critic Javed Jalil was present as a special guest.
Farzana approaches nature to harness its spirit rather than expressing her fidelity to the visible markers while her ecosystem is devoid of easily recognisable forms.
The artist has so far participated in a number of group exhibitions, including 21st National Art Exhibition, ‘Life 2’ at Gallery Cosmos-2, 16th Asian Art Biennale, 19th Young Artist Art Exhibition, group printmaking exhibition ‘Amader Kotha’ organised by Shako.
She also took part in workshops under renowned artist Biren Shome, Alamgir Haque, internationally acclaimed Japanese artist Toshihisa Fudezuka, and Indian artists -Nirmalendu Das and Pinaki Barua.
The exhibition will remain open from 3pm to 8pm every day till July 18.
London, Jul 6 (AP/UNB) — British artist Leon Kossoff, who painted his home city of London in all its moody, rough-edged glory, has died. He was 92.
Annely Juda Fine Art, which represents Kossoff, said he died Thursday after a short illness. Another of the artist's galleries, LA Louver in Los Angeles, also confirmed his death.
Born in London in 1926 to Russian Jewish immigrants, Kossoff grew up in the city's tough East End and served in the army during World War II before studying at St. Martin's school of art.
He is considered a member of the "School of London" group of post-war artists — alongside Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and Frank Auerbach — who pursued careers in figurative painting regardless of changing artistic fashions.
Inspired by the Old Masters, Kossoff painted portraits of friends and family, but is best known for his urban landscapes of a gritty, war-scarred London. Streets, churches, swimming pools, subway stations and railway bridges were all rendered in dark-hued, thickly layered oil paint. Kossoff would often paint all day and then scrape off most of it in frustration, repeating the process day after day.
Annely Juda said in a statement that Kossoff "saw beauty in everything and everybody."
"His death robs us of one of Britain's greatest painters, but his work reminds us of the continuing potency of painting to comprehend the world in which we live," the gallery said.
Though never as famous as Bacon or Freud, Kossoff's works have sold for six and seven figures. A 1971 painting of London's Willesden Junction railway interchange fetched 1.39 million pounds ($1.74 million) at a Christie's auction last year.
Kossoff represented Britain at the 1995 Venice Biennale, and had a major show the following year at London's Tate gallery. His work has been shown around the world, including at London's National Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He was an honorary foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Funeral details were not immediately available.
Spain, July 6 (AP/UNB) — The blast of a traditional firework on Saturday opened nine days of uninterrupted partying in Pamplona's famed running of the bulls festival.
A member of the northern city's official brass band was chosen for this year's launch of the rocket, known as the "Chupinazo," to mark 100 years since the local ensemble's foundation.
Jesús Garísoain addressed an ecstatic crowd from the city hall's balcony, declaring "Long live San Fermin," the saint honored by the festival. The blast was met by an eruption of joy from revelers, who sprayed each other with wine, staining in pink the traditional attire of white clothes and a red scarf.
Early 20th-century American author Ernest Hemingway immortalized the fiesta in his "The Sun Also Rises" novel.
During the festival, Pamplona's population swells from nearly 200,000 residents to around a million visitors, who are attracted by the adrenaline boost of bull runs along an 850-meter (930-yard) street course to the city's bullring and seamless nights of partying.
The city is also trying to leave behind the scandal that stemmed from a gang rape of an 18-year-old woman during the 2016 festival. The initial prison sentences for sexual abuse to the five defendants was seen as too lenient and led to widespread public outcry, galvanizing the country's feminist movement.
Last month, Spain's Supreme Court overruled the lower courts and sentenced the men to 15 years in prison for rape. In the full-length ruling, published on Friday, judges say the attackers were fully aware of the crime they were committing and bragged about it in a WhatsApp group that they called "The Animal Pack."
The case has led to authorities in Pamplona to step up police surveillance and set up information booths, cellphone apps and 24-hour hotlines allowing instant reporting of abuse cases.
The protests of pro-animal rights groups have also become a fixture in recent years. On the eve of the festival, dozens of semi-naked activists staged a performance simulating speared bulls lying dead on Pamplona's cobbled streets to draw attention at what they see as animal cruelty for the sake of human entertainment.
Bullfights are protected under the Spanish Constitution as part of the country's cultural heritage.
Phnom Penh, Jul 5 (AP/UNB) — Millennium-old Cambodian artifacts displayed in a Japanese collector's home for two decades have been returned to the Southeast Asian country's National Museum.
The 85 artifacts are mostly small bronze items and include statues of Buddha and the Hindu god Shiva, plus jars, ceramics and jewelry. Cambodia's Culture Ministry says some items were older than the Angkor era, which began about 800 A.D. Others date from the Angkor era or just after it ended in the late 14th century.
Cambodia has made intense efforts to recover artifacts looted during its civil war in the 1970s.
At an official reception for the artifacts Friday, Prak Sonnara, secretary of state for the Culture and Fine Art Ministry, praised the Japanese collector for voluntarily returning the artifacts. He said her actions set a good sample for other countries and collectors to follow.
The collector, Fumiko Takakuwa, told reporters after the handover ceremony that she and her husband had bought the items in Japan and liked to collect and display them in their home. But she knew they were originally from Cambodia and that is why she returned them.
"My husband has said before he passed away that those artifacts have to be returned back to Cambodia, and today I am happy that I did," Takakuwa said.
Prak Sonnara said the 85 items were believed to have been stolen from Cambodia's temples during the war, when intense looting occurred and valuables were smuggled through neighboring Thailand.
A 1993 Cambodian law prohibited the removal of cultural artifacts without government permission. The law strongly compels owners of items taken abroad after that date to return them. But there is also general agreement in the art world that pieces were acquired illegitimately if they were exported without clear and valid documentation after 1970 — the year of a United Nations cultural agreement targeting trafficking in antiquities.
In 2014, three 1,000-year-old statues depicting Hindu mythology were welcomed home to Cambodia after being looted from a temple and put in Western art collections.
Also in 2013, two 10th century Cambodian stone statues displayed for nearly two decades at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art were returned to their homeland in a high-profile case of allegedly looted artifacts.
San Francisco, Jul 4 (AP/UNB) — The San Francisco Board of Education will spend up to $600,000 to eliminate historical artwork depicting the life of George Washington.
An 83-year-old mural at George Washington High School has been criticized as racist and degrading for its depiction of black and Native American people. When the mural was created, many considered the work radical for showing unsavory aspects of American history, such as slavery.
School Board member Mark Sanchez voted to paint over the mural, saying it's unfair for students to see harmful images.
Critics worry the move censors a critical portrayal of history and that other New Deal-era artwork could face a similar fate.
Painting over the mural won't happen until at least fall and could be further delayed by a lawsuit.