23 September, 2014 / Ziqa'ad 27, 1435

A painter that brushed away dictatorship

Published Sep 05, 2012 07:11pm

ISLAMABAD, Sept 5: The market for art has degenerated, said artist, curator and art critic Quddus Mirza who was delivering a talk at the Satrang gallery here on Wednesday.

The speaker was critical of commercial art and described it as prostitution. Students from both private and public schools, including the National College of Arts (NCA) Rawalpindi, faculty and some established and practicing artists sat on chairs and on the marble floor of the gallery hanging on to every word Quddus Mirza uttered, from his painting experiences, under dictatorial regime of Gen Ziaul Haq and with the freedom he enjoyed with the brush later.

“Somebody asked me a question that what is the difference between commercial art and non-commercial art? I said it is difference between a married woman and sex worker. So the market has generated many prostitutes and many housewives,” the art critic explained to his listeners.

Associate professor at the National College of Art (NCA) Lahore Quddus Mirza discussed his unique career in the art world, and the state of the current art market.

He was trained as a painter from NCA, Lahore and Royal College of Art, London. Quddus Mirza had exhibited in numerous international and national shows. He is the co-author of the book “50 Years of Visual Arts in Pakistan” and has written extensively on Pakistani art in various international publications.

He was critical of how some talented painters and quality art was taking a toll because of excessive commercialism.

The talk drifted to his life experiences and the influences and the circumstances under which he had painted.

In not so many words Quddus Mirza implied how he was reluctant to show his work fearing controversy during Ziaul Haq’s eleven years of dictatorship.

ISLAMABAD, Sept 5: The market for art has degenerated, said artist, curator and art critic Quddus Mirza who was delivering a talk at the Satrang gallery here on Wednesday.


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