As we move forward into the wintery embrace of the month of December, we can collectively look back and marvel at what a great year it has been for the local art scene. We also look back and remember fondly the souls that we lost. Dr. Akbar Naqvi, a renowned Pakistani art historian, critic and scholar and Raazia Chandoo, an artist whose work focused on juxtaposition of image and pattern with a predominant concern for a light source and boldness in the application of color. My sincerest condolences to their families and loved ones.
Our issue this month investigates the permanence of art in regard to the materials, mediums and the overall implementation of artistic productions. History has taught us that decisions are based on trial and error. For many years, artists have adopted the correct method to layer paint, to choose their tools and materials to prolong the inevitable wear and tear. Art itself is a conscious choice to inject decisions that are based on stability, hoping that the artworks will be durable, but also and perhaps more importantly, faithful to the original state in which they were produced.
On an exciting note, my heartiest congratulations to Ms.Salima Hashmi, who was conferred an Honorary Doctorate for her services to art and education by the Chancellor, Jeremy Irons, Bath Spa University at a ceremony at Bath Abbey. An art educator, artist, writer, curator and human rights activist, Hashmi is an institution unto her own.
Exhibiting at Canvas gallery curated by Zarmeene Shah, artist Adeel Uz Zafars new body of work employs the formal and theoretical basis of the double, the binary and the symbiotic in constructing dialogues that address the politics of visible and invisible, truth and power, of gender and identity, and of the historical and the contemporary popular.
Sanat marked their 50th exhibition milestone with a show titled ‘Gardenscape’ by Muhammad Atif Khan and a publication launch and panel discussion ‘Our Art and its Audience’ with Zarmeene Shah, Muhammad Atif Khan, Adeel Uz Zafar, Zeeshan Muhammad and our editor Quddus Mirza live from Lahore.
‘Markings Contemporary Drawing and Questions of Space’ opened at Chawkandi Art Gallery serving as a window into Pakistan’s gallery history. Started in 1985, Chawkandi Art was among the few preeminent exhibition venues in Karachi at the time and in Pakistan more broadly. It served as landing ground and nurturance for many young artists who held their debut shows here during the 1990s and 2000s. The twelve exhibiting artists represented this early bond. Artists include Meher Afroz, Waseem Ahmed, Khadim Ali, Ali Kazim, Aisha Khalid, Naiza Khan, Afshar Malik, R.M. Naeem, Imran Qureshi, Anwar Saeed, Mohammad Ali Talpur and Muhammad Zeeshan.
It is heartening to see the growing diversity in exhibitions, Mandarjazail a collective by a group of young, self-motivated visual artists from varying creative disciplines, working together to hone their creative voices came together to showcase their skills at Koel gallery.
Studio Seven’s second exhibition opened with the works of 20 eminent artists curated by renowned Pakistani sculptor Abdul Jabbar Gul. It is wonderful to see such prominent names together under one roof. Kudos to Studio Seven for another visually strong group show.
The FOMMA Trust continues to showcase its support of art and culture within the city with exciting new shows and events. Currently FOMMA is working on bringing forth ‘Winter Art Fest’ where local galleries and artists will come together at the FOMMA DHA Art Centre (FDAC) in Zamzama Park to promote artistic endeavors. Follow this space to stay updated!
To celebrate 15 years of the ‘Art on the Underground’ in London, comes the launch of ‘Art for Everyone, Everyday’ featuring a mixture of past projects and highlighting artwork to visit on the Tube. Artist Imran Qureshi’s ‘All Time Would be Perpetual Spring’ is one of the artworks featured. Qureshi used techniques of traditional Mughal miniature painting to present an elaborate floral design for each line on the underground network, inspired by their distinct colours.
Last month also saw the launch of Shahzia Sikanders’ ‘Apparatus of Power’ publication at Asia Society New York. This is the most comprehensive publication on the artist to date featuring essays by Nick Robins, John Seyller, Ayad Akhtar, Ashley Wai and Hans Ulrich Obrist. Sikander has also been awarded the Religion and the Arts Award 2016 from the American Academy of Religion. I would like to extend my sincerest congratulations to Shahzia and wish her continued success. She makes Pakistan proud!
It is with great anticipation we look forward to what 2017 will bring. From the first ever biennales to a multitude of exhibitions and cultural events. Heres wishing our readers at home and abroad happy holidays!
Bye for NOW.