Mussarat Mirza's oil on canvas

KARACHI: When artists paint their personal predicaments they invariably end up choosing the roundabout way for expressing themselves. This borders on abstraction that is more suited to the artists’ endeavour in pushing the boundary not just for themselves but also for the viewer.

As opposed to witnessing a realistic work of art the viewer finds multiple ways to interpret exhibits that are abstruse in nature. An exhibition of works by five of the country’s established artists titled ‘Intimacy’ curated by Maha Malik, which is under way at the Koel Art Gallery, underscores this observation.

Ayesha Qureshi intelligently plays with the element of solemnity tinged with sedateness in her oil on paper works. There is quietude which is a kind of introspection than a result of avoidable or unavoidable circumstances. The longer the viewer looks at her paintings, the more her technique overwhelms the content.

Mussarat Mirza oscillates between a traditionally ambient canvas and contemporary subject matter. Her ‘Ze Ishq-i-Dost Har Saat’ series is a visual treat. Through the small openings, or their illusions, in the artworks the artist allows the viewer to move into the scene. However, there’s no guarantee for the viewer’s return.

Naiza Khan's artwork.

Naiza H. Khan draws ‘Kurrachee’ (past, present, future) and transforms her understanding and experience of the physical space of the city into something played out on a personal domain. It is one impressive piece of art in progress.

Meher Afroz's exhibits on display.

Meher Afroz touches on the idea of the constant battle between clarity and bewilderment. But her achievement lies in the effect that she creates through ‘Baaz Gasht I & II’ (acrylic on canvas) which, despite being portrayed through a visual medium, has auditory appeal to it. The viewer can hear the echoes created by the colours.

Lala Rukh, unlike Meher Afroz, poses a visual challenge to the viewer by virtue of her ‘Nightscape’ series (graphite on carbon paper). At the heart of it all, it is the human form that is her subject.

The exhibition will continue till Jan 27.

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