Novera Ahmed

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Novera Ahmed
নভেরা আহমেদ
Novera Ahmed (1939–2015).jpg
Born(1939-03-29)29 March 1939
Died6 May 2015(2015-05-06) (aged 76)
Paris, France
Alma materCamberwell College of Arts
  • Sculptor
  • painter
Years active1961–1973, 2014
Known forOriginal design of the Central Shaheed Minar
AwardsEkushey Padak

Novera Ahmed (29 March 1939 – 6 May 2015)[1] was a modern sculptor of Bangladesh. She was awarded Ekushey Padak by the Government of Bangladesh in 1997.[2] Artist Zainul Abedin described her work saying "What Novera is doing now will take us a long time to understand – she is that kind of an artist."[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Ahmed was born on 29 March 1939, in Sundarbans in the then Bengal Presidency, British India.[1] Her ancestral home was in Chittagong.[2] She studied in Calcutta and Comilla. In 1955 she was awarded a diploma in Design in the Modeling and Sculpture course from Camberwell College of Arts in London. At Camberwell, she studied under the British sculptor Jacob Epstein and Karel Vogel of Czechoslovakia. In 1966, she met Danish artist Asger Jorn in Paris.[4] She studied European sculpture under the sculptor Venturino Venturi in Florence and later in Vienna. She was influenced by many western modern sculptors such as Henry Moore.[3]


Ahmed jointly worked with Hamidur Rahman on the original design of the Shaheed Minar, Dhaka. During 1956–1960, she had done about 100 sculptures in Dhaka. Out of her 100 sculptures, 33 sculptures are currently in Bangladesh National Museum. Ahmed's first exhibition was held in University of Dhaka in 1960.[2] Another exhibition of her works was held in Lahore in 1961. Her last exhibition was also held in Paris in July 1973.[2]

Style and technique[edit]

Ahmed's early works resembled geometrical forms made by stones and concrete and anthropomorphic forms - mixing the human figure and animals.[4] Then she used iron and steel and later bronze. She began sprays paintings, using plane crash remains from the US army (1964–1969).[4] After her bad accident, her drawings included shapes and figures of a meditative character: space, island, birds in the sky, phoenix, flowers, water, sunshine and the moon, minimalist landscapes, human figures turned toward a new horizon and others.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Ahmed was married to a police officer in mid 1954 in Calcutta.[5] The couple got divorced in late 1954.[5] She started living in France in the 1970s.[4] She married Gregoire de Brouhns in 1984.[3]

Death and legacy[edit]

Ahmed suffered a stroke in 2010 and she was in a wheelchair since then.[3] She died on 6 May 2015 at a hospital in Paris, France.[6] In August 2017, the ministry of cultural affairs of the Government of Bangladesh announced a plan to purchase ten paintings of Ahmed for $47,000.[7]

On 29 March 2019, search engine Google commemorated Ahmed with a Doodle on her 80th birth anniversary.[1]

Selected works[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Novera Ahmed's 80th Birthday". Google. 29 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "Pioneer sculptor Novera Ahmed dies in Paris". 7 May 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d "Novera, pioneer of progressiveness in Bangladesh". The Daily Star. 7 May 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e Amine, Patrick (February 2014). "Novera, la comète imprévisible" [The unpredictable comet]. Exporevue Magazine. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  5. ^ a b Hye, Hasnat. Novera. p. 389.
  6. ^ "Sculptor Novera passes away". The Daily Star. 6 May 2015. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  7. ^ Kallol, Asif (31 August 2017). "Govt plans to purchase Novera Ahmed paintings". Dhaka Tribune. Retrieved 4 September 2017.

Further reading[edit]