To celebrate the 70th founding anniversary of Faculty of Fine Arts (FFA), University of Dhaka (DU), four prominent painters of the country have been felicitated. They are Syed Jahangir, Mustafa Monwar, Samarjit Roy Chowdhury and Murtaja Baseer. They were awarded during the opening ceremony of a mega exhibition held on December 10 on the premises of Charukala. Although the first three artists received their awards, Murtaja Baseer was not present due to illness.

Eminent painter Professor Mohammad Eunus, convener of the sub-committee of the organising body of the 70th founding anniversary of Faculty of Fine Arts visited Murtaja Baseer's home at Monipuripara, Farmgate on December 11 and personally handed over the award. Baseer received the award with pleasure and thanked FFA.

Murtaja Baseer, considered one of the foremost painters of Bangladesh, has established his individual style. He is also known as a resourceful genius. Throughout his illustrious career, Baseer has gradually transformed his working style into abstract realism.

Baseer was born in 1932. He joined Dacca Art College (now the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka) as a student in 1949. During the Liberation War, he left the country for Paris with his family. Baseer stayed in Paris till June 1973. While in Paris, he studied mosaic and etching at Beaux Arts in Paris. In 1973, Baseer returned to Bangladesh and joined Chittagong University as an assistant professor. He finally retired from teaching in 1998.

The painter has done a series of works articulating contemporary life and issues. His quest has always encouraged him to deliver new thoughts, styles and techniques in a constant pursuit of experimentation. Many are perhaps not familiar with Baseer's other identities as a poet, short story writer, novelist, researcher, numismatist and filmmaker. Baseer has written novels and was acclaimed for his meticulous style and unique choice of themes.

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