Woman of substance

Aug 19 2015

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Waiting 1 / Woman in Bronze 1 / Photos by White Star
Waiting 1 / Woman in Bronze 1 / Photos by White Star

KARACHI: Nahid Raza has proven credentials. She is one of those rare Pakistani artists for whom art is not just a way to express themselves, a form of expression as it were, but a way of life. So every time she exhibits her new work, the one thing that art lovers die to know is what boundaries has the artist now pushed.

An exhibition of her recent paintings and sculptures opened at the Canvas Gallery on Tuesday. For all Nahid Raza admirers, it’s a must-see show.

The subject, as is often the case with the artist, is women. What kind of women, though? Not the meek, compliant ones, but strong women brimming with self-belief. This, however, does not take away the fact that they live in a trouble-free world.

Even the strongest of personalities have to face the pangs of loneliness. And that’s the focus of the artist’s attention in her acrylic-on-canvas paintings. It is evident from titles like ‘You’re never mine’ and ‘Living’. The most poignant artworks in that context come from the ‘Waiting’ series. The artist turns chairs and tables into characters which accompany the protagonists as if they (pieces of furniture) were living beings.

The highlight of the show is the remarkable sculptures that the artist has made. They score high on two counts. One, the finesse with which Nahid Raza has carved these bronze pieces is extraordinary; very seldom does one get to see such delicate handling of bronze. Two, the true-to-life postures that the artist has imparted to her characters! In ‘Women in Bronze 1’ the ecstatic movement of the hands, with a delectable undulating movement of the body, is quite a sight. In other pieces the posture changes from one of ecstasy to pensiveness, without compromising on technical finesse, the standout feature of Nahid Raza’s bronze work.

The exhibition will continue until Aug 27.

Published in Dawn, August 19th, 2015

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