KARACHI: One could call it an embarrassment of riches in terms of the quality work that the Indus Valley School has put up as part of its seventh faculty show at the school’s art gallery. The exhibition, which is under way and will continue till Oct 5, showcases exhibits of celebrated names in Pakistani art as well as some lesser known painters and sculptors, but it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to suggest that almost all of them have put on display artworks that cannot be viewed cursorily. Irfan Hasan’s ‘After Rubens’ (gouache on paper) is the first exhibit of the show, and there is a reason for it. It pulls back the viewer to a time that is well documented in art history (perhaps a reference to a Flemish painter) but the contemporary vibe that it gives off is no less delightful. The finesse in the artist’s work is quite a sight in itself.
Rabeya Jalil takes realism to a different realm altogether. Here is an extraordinary artist whose work turns the viewer into a storyteller. It is not possible to look at the ‘windows’ (acrylic on canvas) that she’s made and not weave a tale out of them. These are not the kind of windows that one understands in the traditional sense of the word; rather they are objects which one can relate to and associate with. No matter which stratum of society one belongs to, Rabeya Jalil’s subject will speak to the viewer saying ‘long time no see’.
Nurraya Sheikh Nabi brings surrealism into the fray, well, a little bit, in her nicely put ‘I Woke Out of a Whirlpool’. Arshad Faruqui remains in the same zone but with a Kafkan touch. His ‘Cockroach Eater’ (screen print) is both a situation and a condition.
Tariq Alexander Qaiser’s wood fire ceramic pieces are suffused with the sensitivity of a sentient being; especially ‘Woman and Child’ is an exhibit that speaks volumes for the artist’s ability to breathe life into his artworks.
Sohail Zuberi intelligently exemplifies how time and tide wait for none, not even for Sufism. His take on Sufi sayings with a 21st century feel to it is a visual treat.
Sana Nasir’s pen-on-newsprint keep up with the mood of the show as satire takes centre stage. Her ‘Nice Shoes’ is a convincing example of that.
The other participating artists are Madiha Hyder, Arif Hussain, Hamir Soomro, Samya Arif, Shaheedullah Baray, Mohammad Ali Khan, Mashad Ali Jaffri, Samia Rajar, Naila Mehmood, Farah Mehbub, Shehnaz Ismail, Wardah Saleem, Sabiha Quddus, Nazia Gull, Naheed Z. Yahya, Nazia Anwar, Maliha Shahzad, Waheeda Mansoor, Faryal Sethi, Aliya Yousuf, Sana Burney, Khalid Anwar, Amna Khan, Mohan Das, Hisham Masood, Sumaira Syed, Zohaib Zuby and Taimur Suri.