KARACHI, May 9: Art lovers welcomed the recent re-launch and relocation of the Momart Gallery that was first established in 1994 and then put a stop to its activities for a brief period. The re-launch was celebrated with a grand exhibition, which will remain open until the month of August.
The show at Momart boasts works of more than 60 artists ranging from those who are regarded as legends to the relatively lesser known. The exhibition itself is a collage of a variety of paintings and sculptures creating exciting prospects for art lovers. Asma Abbasi’s oil-on-canvas landscapes with dense strokes highlighting the importance of the colour green not only in terms of foliage but also with respect to the art of painting are a sight to behold. On the other hand, A.S. Rind impresses the viewer with his fusion of literature and a visual form of communication. His demur women, with the customary bird alongside them, accompanied by an Urdu poem, preferably by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, have now become quite familiar to, and popular with, art buffs.
Then the likes of Chitra Pritam take the viewer to another realm. The artist’s ‘Still Water’ and ‘Fishery Boat’ (oil on canvas) epitomise the genre of art that doesn’t dazzle but haunts. Hanif Shehzad’s tribute to Karachi’s cityscape (and its historicity) lends a distinct touch to the show. His use of yellowness to describe Karachi’s skyline at night is symbolic and aesthetically rich.
Qudsia Nisar touches another dimension by being artfully abstruse. Her ‘Desert Mood’ series (watercolour) is indicative of how barrenness can be depicted as something that is not always parched or dry. This aridity belongs to some other sphere and the noun desert should not be taken literally.
Riffat Alvi becomes philosophical in her pursuit to tap into the beginnings and ends of things that relate to life. For the artist, employing natural earth to create artworks means the medium is the message.
Shammi Ahmed speaks in the language of emotions via faces with big eyes through her oil-on-canvas exhibits. It is the face of the protagonist in her untitled work that doesn’t need any description; one look at it will unravel a world of possibilities.
Then of course who can ignore Jamil Naqsh with his trademark bird. Perhaps it’s not a trademark anymore.