Under cover

February 23, 2014

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KARACHI: While many a time form and content come together in art to help artists convey their ideas, as both are mutually reinforcing, sometimes one overshadows the other and allows the viewer not to make an attempt at reconciling form and content. This is evident from the works of Annem Zaidi and Emaan Mahmud who tackle two different subjects in their distinct ways but employ a technique no less fascinating than their subjects.

The two-person exhibition titled ‘Under Cover’, curated by Scheherezade Junejo, opened at the Full Circle Gallery on Friday.

Emaan Mahmud’s untitled work is interesting in the sense that the artist has used, nay played, with plastic materials with abandon. Polythene is no easy object to handle. She’s kept its density light and shaped it in such a way that there is a palpable change in their texture. Why palpable? Because the transformation can be seen on both tactile and visual levels, to a reasonable degree.

Annem Zaidi, on the other hand, employs the conventional oil-on-canvas medium, but turns it into an unconventional technique, not drastically though. Here’s the reason: the viewer doesn’t judge her artworks by merely seeing what’s there in the foreground. Instead, it’s the intriguing diffusion of the colour black that is quite absorbing. I say ‘diffusion’ because despite used in the background it merges with figures that the artist has shown in such a way that black assumes different shapes and forms. In ‘On the Outside Looking In’ the half-visible character gives in to the blackness of the scene, and in ‘Procrastination’ it makes way for the same, making the blackness become the medium and the messenger at the same time.

The exhibition will continue till March 14.