Tuesday July 23, 2024

Show of diverse aspects of figurative art opens

By Shahab Ansari
April 03, 2021

LAHORE:"Resurgence," a show featuring many diverse aspects of figurative art in Pakistan with the display latest creations of 50 world-renowned senior, brilliant and emerging young Pakistani artists, was inaugurated at Ejaz Art Gallery, Off MM Alam Road here on Friday.

The artists include Saeed Akhtar, Mansoor Rahi, Hajra Mansoor, Shahnawaz Zaidi and Rahat Naveed Masud. There was formal opening ceremony due to the prevailing coronavirus concerns, however, the art lovers and general public was informed by the gallery’s management that they could visit the gallery anytime between 11am and 6pm observing the corona related SOPs.

About this unique and perhaps the biggest art show in the provincial Capital so far, the renowned artist, art teacher and art critic Dr Rahat Naveed Masud said, “Portraiture or figurative art has been one of the oldest form of human expressions. Pakistani art and artists stand in a unique position where they have been exposed to an inflow of divergent influences. This region has imbibed various cultures and religions.

All these manifest in the art of today in our region.” Figuration has had a long history. Ranging from the elegant sculpture of Gandhara to the Steatite and terracotta figurines of Mohenjodaro, to the ornately assembled grand Mughal albums, down to the splendid European oil paintings visible in the Bamba collection housed at Lahore Fort. Figurative art has enjoyed a popular status. Artists like Hal Bevan Petman, Allah Baksh, Anna Molka Ahmad, Zakia Dil Malik, Khalid Iqbal, Saeed Akhtar, Colin David, Iqbal Hussain and many others have produced a large body of work in this genre.

But due to the cataclysmic religious and political events of the 1980s and 1990s there was a cultural shift towards conservatism. Society became fearful and insecure which drove the people towards obscurantism and as a result figuration suffered a setback. Presently there has been a transformation, albeit, not only since the all-pervasive digital technology has surfaced as an aid to the artist but also there is a rekindling of interest in the human form and figure.

More and more artists once again find this as a viable medium of social, emotive and aesthetic expression. The present show at Ejaz Gallery is an undisputed indicator towards this development.