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June 19, 2019

When art and nostalgia mix

Karachi

June 19, 2019

The city’s Canvas Art Gallery was host to a unique art exhibition on Tuesday afternoon. Based on the collection of Rehana and Shakil Saigol, the show featured the works of many artists who are not in our midst anymore and whose works catapulted viewers into another era and another school of art.

Notable among these were works by Anna Molka Ahmed, whose works are still considered masterpieces despite the pursuit having undergone so many changes, changes that have turned the sublime pursuit of art into a brain-racking brainteaser.

Once a household name in the field of art in the country, she is today a part of the past, but such achievers live on through the contributions they may have made to sublime fields. Two of the works adorning the walls of the art gallery are portraits by Ahmed which quickly remind the viewer of art as it was in her era. The two works are the portraits of a man and a woman. They are 20x25 inches pastel on paper. They are just portraits but portraits that speak.

Ahmed has so masterfully captured the expressions in their eyes in the most profound of manner. Their eyes have a story to tell. The colouring is so simple and true to life, no flamboyant colour combinations that artists nowadays have a propensity to.

Painted as way back as 1973, the works acquaint the viewer with trends in art as it was four decades ago. Then, there are works by another artist who slipped into the past just a couple of weeks ago, Jamil Naqsh. His works, titled, “Pigeons”, are an endearing depiction of all the things that adorn nature and is reflected through animal and bird life. Titled, “Pigeons”, the works are an endearing representation of nature through bird life. They show pigeons huddled together. Then, there’s a work by Mohammad Ali titled Usama Bin Laden. It depicts Usama with nothing more than a loin cloth and an expression of despondency in his eyes.

In all there are 27 works adorning the walls of the art gallery. There are two by artist Zulqarnain Haider. They are both landscapes. Haider is a lyrical colourist indeed. One of these, titled laburnum, depicts a laburnum tree with its thick colured foliage. It is semi-impressionistic in style.

The other one shows a body of clear sapphire water interspersed with an equal amount of land. These indeed are eye-catching collections. Both works are 18 inches by 14 inches oil-on-board.

There are also two works by Naiza Khan, which are sketches of the female anatomy. The exhibition, curated by Dawn Group CEO Hameed Haroon and based on the personal collection of Rehana and Shakil Saigol, goes on up until June 27.

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