According to the exhibition’s organisers, art lovers would be awed by the aura of grace and brilliance radiating from the masters’ paintings.
The ‘golden jubilee’ exhibition, as organisers described it, will include artworks by AS Rind, Mansur Rahi, Masood A Khan, Iqbal Mehdi, Ahmed Parvez, Ahmed Khan, Athar Jamal, Ghulam Rasool, Rasheed Butt, RM Naeem, Sadequain and Shahla Rafi, to mention a few.
Ahmed Parvez’ oil on paper was a stunning painting done in 1971 depicting the figure of a woman rather than his usual buoyant colourful abstracts, while Sadequain’s “Sapeera” and “Nagin”, which are in water colours and marker on paper, are exquisite.
Interestingly, the pen and ink work of Iqbal Mehdi from the early 80s is not from his usual drawing series of beautiful women posing. Instead, he depicts a poor man in ragged clothes with a vulture sitting on his head – a figure with thought provoking smile and looks in the eyes.The show also includes two pen and ink works by Omar Farid in his characteristic style. His artworks for this exhibition are rare, especially after he stopped working in this medium.
Two interesting paintings, “Woman in Love” and “Contentment” by Haneef Ramay, are from his study of female forms. Both are in his distinctive contours that create movements in silence on the canvas. Rind, who also paints female forms, shows a substantive move towards a new direction. The female figure form, colours and composition are different and more appealing with introduction of negative spaces.
Hajra Mansur’s aesthetically decorated female composition is in acrylic on canvas rather than her usual works in water colours on paper. RM Naeem’s painting is from 1990s in which he focused on the female figure in various postures and created moods with his distinctive application of paints.
Ather Jamal’s woman from rural Sindh is a true depiction of dignified beauty rather than overly exposed women being painted by some other artists in the province. Kazim’s “woman and bird” is in his unique iconic embossed style.
Ghulam Rasool’s landscapes are full of vibrant energy of sunlight, while Shahla Rafi depicts the scenes of Sihali village as seen at the early hours of morning from the veranda of her house. Tassaduq Sohail’s jungle scenes are in his attractive colour dripping and scrapping style, but his drawing with pen and ink and use of water colours are teasing.
Calligraphies at display are by Rasheed Butt from Islamabad, Ahmed Khan from Lahore and Rashid Arshed.
Arshed’s work is an inventive style which expresses new possibilities of using Urdu letters as the subject to compose the space. In contrast, Butt and Khan draw their inspiration from old manuscripts, the art of linear writing and historical forms.
Sana Arjumand, who was nominated last year among the 10 most prominent emerging painters in India and Pakistan by an Indian art magazine, again shows her mettle with new ideas. Her two paintings, ‘The Record Keepers’ and ‘Realizing Love’, reflect her ability to conceive new ideas for each painting.
Masood A Khan shows a noticeable change by moving to black and white rather than his usual colourful palette but maintaining the same transparent approach. Also, the scene he depicts has a prominent Bengal influence. The miniature works of the Moghal Kings are of the pre-partition days done by Sheikh Moin, who received meritorious certificates in making portraits of kings, queens and royal families on paper and ivory.
The exhibition will continue till September 26.