ISLAMABAD: Two prominent abstract expressionist artists- Riaz Rafi and Ayesha Siddiqui- are holding an exhibition of their works in Gallery 6.
The show titled Raked Reveries was inaugurated by German Ambassador Martin Kobler
“The artwork of the two painters is very impressive, the rioting vibrant colours, bold strokes and expressions make you dreamy,” the ambassador said.
A good painting should make the viewer dream about nature, society and personal relationships,” Mr Kobler said.
“Rafi and Ayesha’s work reminds me of the early 20th century European art scene when the world was in turmoil of wars and revolutions,” he said, mentioning the art movements of ‘Fauvism’ German Group who associated the ‘Blue Rider’ image with a spiritual non-figurative mystical art of the future depicting figurative paintings and emotional expressionism.
The ambassador likened Rafi’s figurative art to the abstract and cubism art introduced by Picasso and others by presenting multiple perspectives into a two-dimensional image and rejecting the norms of the Renaissance.
“Dream is important in a time of war and instability,” the ambassador said.
Both the artists paint distinctly different subjects but have similarity in using bright colours and bold strokes, creating dazzling compositions in reverie said Dr Arjumand Faisal, the curator and eminent artist in his own right.
Riaz Rafi has a masters’ degree in journalism but chose art as his profession and has been painting and exhibiting regularly for more than 25 years.
“I have depicted in my latest work the hypocrisy and artificiality and the breaking norms in society,” Mr Rafi said.
His first solo exhibition was held in 1993 in Karachi. Since then he has held nine solo and over 80 group exhibitions both at national and international levels.
In Islamabad he has been exhibiting his work but got prominence from a two-artist exhibition titled Inimitable Consilience with Tassaduq Suhail in 2015 in which both painters painted on each other’s canvases creating history in Pakistani art.
Ayesha Siddiqui has a doctoral degree in fine arts from the University of Punjab in 2014 and gained popularity for abstract works exploring ideas of concealment and camouflage.
In this exhibition, she demonstrates her love for nature with surrealistic landscapes in experimental geometric forms and unusual colours, serenely or tantalizing shimmering lines carrying characteristics of a field painting.
“Her compositions are explicitly composed with the intentions of depicting a beautiful landscape to the viewer in her iconic style which at times appears to have inferences drawn from Rothkos’ or Hoffmann’s works,” Dr Faisal said.
Ms Siddiqui has participated in exhibitions in other countries including Bangladesh, China, Jordan, New Zealand and UK.
She has participated in Asian art biennale four times and in the Asian Art Expo in Beijing.
Published in Dawn, June 23rd, 2018