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A feast of colours

July 30, 2012

A mixed media exhibit by Ahmed Pervaiz.–Photo by White Star

KARACHI: Revisiting a known work of art can be just as rewarding as seeing it for the very first time, provided the artwork is made by an extraordinary artist who knows how to come up with a timeless creation. The adjective ‘timeless’ is the key here for two reasons: (1) the content has an enduring sense to it and the technique never looks obsolete. This is the kind of feeling that the viewer gets while visiting a group exhibition, which is under way at the Canvas Art Gallery these days, primarily because the artists whose work is on display include, among others, the likes of Bashir Mirza, Gulgee, Ahmed Pervaiz, Iqbal Husain and Jamil Naqsh.

With such a stellar bunch of artists, it is difficult to point out the standout piece in the show. If on one hand the masters are there with their compelling creations, the relatively new lot (Hamra Abbas, Quddus Mirza, Muhammad Zeeshan, Moeen Faruqi, etc) on the other hand also make their presence felt with some impressive pieces.

To this reviewer, the one exhibit that in a manner of speaking has the most impersonal touch to it is Iqbal Husain’s delightful oil-on-board landscape. There is a kind of serenity to the whole scene that appears surreally real. The artist has been able to personify the greenery in the picture. The verdant land and trees come across as living objects in a tranquil background.

Another important exhibit on display is Ahmed Pervaiz’s. The artwork done in mixed media, according to the curator of the exhibition, is an early 1970s piece. The creative vigour with which he used to paint is evident in the painting.

Iqbal Husain's oil on board artwork

Gulgee’s swirling colours, infused with the spiritual aspect of life, reiterate his position as one of the significant artists of his generation, as does Bashir Mirza with his non-objective, symbolic work. What cannot be missed in all the paintings is the free-flowing use of colours, which effectively depict both life as well as the complications associated with it.

The exhibition will continue till Aug 8.