May tends to be an exciting month for the art scene with the summers around the corner, stimulating exhibitions offering a plethora of artworks from the late masters to the young artists just beginning to make their mark.
‘Sadequain in Intimate Moments’ was exhibited at Pearl Continental, in which unseen portraits of Sadequain were on display. According to Sadequain’s nephew, Sultan Naqvi, the portraits are some of Sadequain’s very private works that have never been showcased to the public before. The works were part of the artist’s private collection organized by the late artist’s family. Some of the works dated back to Sadequain’s teenage years and show the thrilling trajectory of artistic development.
FOMMA Trust recently held an exhibition ‘Carte Blanche’ featuring 11 graduates of the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture. The work on display was an enthralling amalgamation of creativity and drew many visitors and garnered a lot of press coverage. FOMMA Trust now looks forward to an exhibition in collaboration with the Italian Consulate in June titled “Tri-Veneto: Pictures from the North East of Italy” curated by Alessandro Rosani. Rosani started experimenting with photography in 1960 with black and white first and, later, colour. Between 1970 and 1997, he completed his empirical knowledge with a solid theoretical base as a self-taught photographer, which he considerably expanded via specialized books and magazines. The exhibition will inaugurated by special guest Silvia Boreale.
Gandhara Art Space in celebration of it ten year anniversary has launched a series of 3 exhibitions under the title ‘Look at the City from Here’ curated by Haajra Haider. The 3 exhibitions feature works by Risham Syed, Bani Abidi and Farida Batool. The first of which, “through the rear view mirror and the looking glass…..” opened mid-May and will continue onto end of June, showcases 20 years of Risham Syed’s work and practice dating back to her thesis days. A must see!
Standard Chartered Bank continues to pursue its corporate social responsibility in terms of art. The third edition of their annual art exhibition series ‘Awaken Our Legacy’ is an exclusive exhibition featuring diverse disciplines of Pakistani art- ceramics, drawing, miniature, painting, photography and sculpture. Curated by Nurayah Sheikh Nabi the exhibition focused on our cultural heritage and the values of carrying forward our past into our future. It is heartening to see corporate entities supporting art initiatives so passionately.
Similarly, I AM KARACHI Walls of Peace is a citywide campaign to remove negative graffiti off the walls that not only divides our roads but also our people. The campaign encourages involvement of the public, and attempts to integrate society through art. I AM KARACHI in collaboration with VASL and Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture is requesting artists to submit their designs for a wall they would like to paint.
Earlier this month, the Artistic Director for the Lahore Biennale Rashid Rana was invited for a talk at the MoMA in New York on Tuesday, May 3 as part of the post presents series, dedicated to the cross-geographical consideration of modern and contemporary art. The riveting conversation with Glenn D. Lowry, Director MoMA, covered salient features of the upcoming inaugural biennale and gave Rana the opportunity to discuss the event with an international audience.
This was closely followed by a presentation and talk at the highly respected World Bank in Washington DC, on May 6, at the invitation of the Pakistan Bank Fund Staff Association and the World Bank Art Program. Qudsia Rahim, Executive Director LBF, also joined Rana at this event to present the foundation’s undertakings to date, whereas Rana spoke about the Lahore Biennale. Together they generated even more interest in the event, which has become a major point of curiosity in the global art landscape.
An open call was announced on May 20 for Germany-based artists to engage with Karachi and Lahore, respectively, as a site of urban exploration and artistic research in a living and workspace residency. In collaboration with the Lahore Biennale Foundation and Vasl in Karachi, the Goethe-Institut Pakistan is offering a two-month all-expenses residency for artists and researchers interested in cross-disciplinary theory and practice related to the city and urban phenomena. The work/artistic research will be presented and featured in public events within the scope of Urbanities, an on-going project, and as part of the larger debate around the curatorial premise of the Lahore Biennale 2017.
The foundation is also very excited to announce the opening of Rooted (Paivasta), a public art project by Marc Cairns, from the Glasgow-based creative studio Pidgin Perfect and Lahore-based artists Unum Babar and Matt Kushan, supported by the Lahore Biennale Foundation, British Council Lahore and the Parks and Horticulture Authority. The collaboration brought about eight permanent artworks at the Bagh-e-Jinnah (Lawrence Gardens, referencing the places and events that take place across the gardens, along with temporary sculptures created by young students from public schools around Lahore.
In addition, Olomopolo Media has generously collaborated to put on a mime performance during the event that invites the audience to experience stories expressed through bodily movements set to a collage of sounds. Temporary sculptures created by the artists with Lahori schoolchildren, supported by Rabtt, will also be on display; these sculptures reference the heritage links between Glasgow and Lahore.
On a somewhat similar note, the next Murree Museum Artists Residency 2016 will commence from the 13th July to 3rd August. The artist and writers in residency are Pradeep Thalawatta (Colombo, Sri Lanka), Sarah Mumtaz (Lahore, Pakistan), Seher Naveed (Karachi, Pakistan), Suleman Khilji (Quetta, Pakistan), Saira Ansari (Lahore / Dubai) and Rabeya Jalil (Lahore, Pakistan). A project, inspired by a vision to bring together the creative, cultural history of Pakistan and to create opportunities for Pakistani artists to participate in the new global art world. An international art community set in, and revitalizing the colonial beauty and simplicity of Murree, a Himalayan hill station community. It is heartening to see the continuous growth and development in the country’s art world.
Art Dubai is one of the most highly recognized art fairs worldwide and Antonia Carver has over the years been the one to help put it on the map. Antonia has been appointed the director of Director of Art Jameel, following her resignation as Director of Art Dubai. I wish her all the very best in all her future endeavors! She will take up the post in August 2016 and will be responsible for leading all of Art Jameel’s initiatives. Art Jameel is an initiative of Community Jameel, the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of Abdul Latif Jameel. The initiative was established with the aim of fostering and promoting the arts and culture scene of the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey region, and beyond. Antonia will be missed dearly…
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