Exhibition in aid of flood relief begins at Arts Council

Published October 1, 2022
Some of the artworks displayed at the exhibition.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star
Some of the artworks displayed at the exhibition.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star

KARACHI: The three-day art exhibition organised by the Arts Council of Pakistan to lend a helping hand to those affected by flash floods began at the council’s Ahmed Pervez Gallery on Friday evening.

The gallery has now been shifted to a new space on the same premises. There are 50 paintings and 10 sculptures donated for the purpose by renowned artists and collectors which include a few pieces made by masters such as Sadequain, Satish Gujral and Tassaduq Sohail, alongside a wide variety of artworks by contemporary Pakistani painters and sculptors.

While there is no thematic unity in the exhibits on view, a majority of them represent the artists’ signature styles. By this one means that the creative zeal with which they immerse themselves in their work is eminently visible.

Renowned artists and collectors have donated 50 paintings and 10 sculptures for the cause

Let’s talk about the masters first. For example, distinguished artist Aijaz Ul Hassan’s piece is a cerebral and visual delight to spend some time with. On surface, it gives off a naturalistic vibe. But the colours — a touch of blue, a dash of yellow in the background and the leafy green in the foreground — combine to depict a life that’s stationary and does not undermine the significance of the kinetic energy man looks to survive. It is a simple painting packed with loads of meaning. Remarkable stuff.

Among the modern-day painters, Masood A Khan always impresses with his soft hues that tell hard-to-tell stories. The untitled piece that the viewer will see in the exhibition is an ink and acrylic on paper work, a somewhat dream-like sequence that looks like a frozen shot from a movie belonging to the art house cinema movement from the 1960s.

Then there is Zulfiqar Zulfi with his astounding oil-on-canvas painting giving the viewer a taste of (old) city life. The murkiness in the image is symbolic of the days gone by when the air was suffused with serenity.

The above-mentioned three paintings are just a slice of the show, which is going to conclude on Sunday (tomorrow). Since it has been arranged for a noble cause, and since the quality of creative output is right out of the top drawer, one is expected that it will go a long way in helping those for whom life has become an arduous struggle due to the situation triggered by monsoon rains.

Published in Dawn, October 1st, 2022

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