Friday, January 18, 2013

Picture Perfect opens at Art Chowk

KARACHI: Group shows generally do not have a thread that links or strings together art pieces made in varied styles, propagating different ideas. It does not happen often that a non-solo exhibition compels art buffs to witness works by nearly a half a dozen artists and at the same time easily enables them to connect the dots, as it were. 

The artworks by five Lahore-based artists on display at an exhibition titled ‘Picture Perfect’, which commenced at the Art Chowk Gallery on Thursday, are done in more than one medium and carry assorted messages, yet tend to cross each other’s path either by virtue of latent concepts or obvious statements. What is that point where they cross paths? Memory.

Remembrance. Filial bonding.

Irfan Gul gives away his ideas by titling his artworks ‘Arid Dreams’ (drawing pen, digital print on paper). The barrenness points to a time gone by and laments that the time to come might not be drastically different. His pieces are inherently melancholic in which images merge quite indecipherably.

Saamia Vine keeps it simple and herein lies the charm of her art. She begins by putting questions at herself (oil on board) and in the process queries time’s cruelties. She does not stay there and moves on to create a haunting scene in ‘Swinging Her Way’ (oil on board) with a blurry view of a tree, a young girl and a window of sorts.

Mizna Zulfiqar expands the scope for miniature works by making the viewer look at complete stories in smaller frames. ‘A Day in the Park’ (photo transfer and watercolor on wasli) is a cogent example of that. With ‘Wallflower’ (gouache on wasli), the artist turns the symbol into a literal form of expression without losing out on its symbolic value.

Mohsin Shafi turns textual profundity into visual insightfulness. In that regard ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ and ‘Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’ (mixed media collage) merit a special mention.

Saadia Hussain intelligently uses family photographs and enhances her content with a tongue ‘n cheek play of pictures aided by interesting titles. ‘I am Going to Another Photo’ (mixed media on digital print on canson paper) initially brings a smile to the viewer’s face but then makes him mull over the picture.
The exhibition will be open till Jan 31.

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