He [Hasan] is gifted with an inquisitive mind and painterly sensibilities, which nature bestows on few painters.”
Incidents that change one’s life are hard to explain in words but they are powerful enough to leave an intense effect on one’s memory and life, ones that could change the thought process and the person as a whole.
A weak and broken soul that has lost its identity discerns its creator when drowned in grief and pain. These intense moments brings one close to his/her God and the same narrative was shared by a national and internationally acclaimed artist, Abid Hasan, who unfurled the magic of his astounding art works at the Art Kaam gallery on March 09, 2018. In his exhibition titled ‘Dastak’ 23 paintings were displayed using strong yet muted hues to strengthen his concept of spirituality and hope.
Hasan is known for his miraculous talent of giving life to the canvas with the fusion of colors chemically treated with silver and gold leaf.
Control and technique made Hasan’s work fascinating to the viewers. He skillfully used techniques which maintained the traditional style in his work and the usage of chemically treated gold and silver leaf for the compositions gave it the touch of contemporary art thus the fusion of both styles could be observed in Hasan’s art works.
While viewing his work my mind couldn’t help but wander to the medieval and Renaissance periods when gilding was often used to embellish ornate picture frames which was considered as a crucial part of the art works. Artists would use gold leaf to paint the crowns, thrones and background areas which would take paintings to the next level.
Though artist’s palettes changed, individual painters continued to favour the glow of precious metal. Klimt in his early Golden Period (1900 to 1910), used gold lavishly as the keynote of his work. This was an influence of his exposure to Byzantine art in Ravenna.
Talking about his work, Hasan said:
“My work depicts a path to hope, with light and dark regions subtly blended in my paintings to depict the beauty of the quest for spirituality. Bare-footed, and unarmed you walk your path and a sudden burst of light from the scorching sun shines upon you, which can burn inches deep of flesh, and your body aches to your soul, but your pain is the breaking of the shell that confines your understanding.”
Not everyone has an understanding of creating a connection between art and the audience, but Hasan created such an effect through his work with the help of incredible textures and smooth layers of the paints over chemically treated silver and gold leaf thus engaging the audience in the search of hope which Hasan tried to show in his work.
One of the paintings Naqsh-e-Hayat was a life print that symbolized identity, whereas a variety of techniques were used to highlight the concept of life, hope and peace in his works.
The painting titled Ki Jaana Mai Kon was a portrayal of different faces Hasan sees in him. On a closer inspection, one could see tiny faces painted on the canvas whereas from far it looked like a textured and geometric painting.
Hasan painted tiny rough faces that resembled Manto, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, William Shakespeare and animals as well. The artist could best explicate the reason and idea of this art piece:
“The painting shows a voyage into my soul. I have painted multiple faces within my own personality.”
The use of geometric patterns, light, colors and texture gave life to the canvas and enhanced the narrative of the artist through different perspectives which is comprehensible as well as ambiguous at the same time.
Hasan described the process of the intense pieces:
“These paintings are painted on canvas with chemical process of laying thin silver/gold leaf on the surface. I use oil colours in different hues and keys which respond to the prepared surface. After completing my work I use varnish to give the final effect. These mixed media paintings have brilliance and tactile quality which possess unusual images – rarely found in abstract expressionist paintings.”
Now days the use of gold leaf in art works has gradually decreased due to the more use of gold paints. But the significance of gold leaf has remained attached to the art until modern era.
God has bestowed Hasan a talent which has made him a magician and helped him make a name in the art world. The patience, maturity and sensibility could be seen in the little details in Hasan’s work.
The variation of sizes and control on the compositions proved Hasan the master of the medium. Abid Hasan is not only an artist but an institute in himself who has empowered the medium with his unique techniques and treatment of the canvas that not only attracts the traditional but the contemporary art lovers as well.