ISLAMABAD: A show featuring modern works of art with extensive use of colours opened at the Satrang Gallery on Friday. The exhibition titled In Search of the Miraculous by Rakhshanda Atawar was curated by art critic Aasim Akhtar.

“There is unmistakable early evidence of the artist’s delight in intersecting, cutting up, revealing and uncovering motifs that were both elemental and willfully whimsical, which, later on, abetted by unbridled curiosity, would lead her painting to artistic terra nova and realms of complexity and potential for renewal,” Mr Akhtar said while talking about Rakhshanda Atawar’s work.

Curlicues, splashes, lines and even over-painting was used by the painter to express herself in the latest body of work. Ms Atawar’s paintings seemed to be replete with moments of covert and overt anticipation; a complex web of diversity was not only evident within individual paintings but also stretched retrospectively between works that might otherwise appear to be temporal and poles apart, aesthetically.

Director of the gallery Asma Khan said, “I highly recommend everyone to come see this exhibition which has been beautifully curated by Aasim Akhtar. Art is such an important aspect of life and we hope people take out the time to relax and appreciate it.”

With a portfolio spanning three decades, Ms Atawar’s latest work is a free hand use of rich colors guided by emotional outbursts. “Unlike my previous works, the latest series is heavily influenced by one considerable factor, having to remain in lockdown during the pandemic, which in my opinion forced me to confront my emotional state and gave way to a relatively uber-dynamic movement on the inside. The work, just the expression,” the artist told guests.

Ms Atawar was born and raised in Sialkot. She graduated in fine arts from Government College, Lahore, in 1981 and earned a Masters degree in fine arts from Punjab University, Lahore, in 1984. The artist has displayed her work in both national and international galleries, and has been part of the Taj Mahal Project 2004 in Agra, India.

She served as head of department at the National College of Business Administration and Economics (NCBA & E), Lahore and was the co-founder and curator of 39K, Lahore. Currently she lives and works in Lahore.

The exhibition will continue till June 20.

Published in Dawn, May 14th, 2022

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