Art maestro Sadequain remembered -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Art maestro Sadequain remembered

Shahid Husain

Karachi: The 25th death anniversary of the legendary artist and poet, Sadequain, was commemorated on Friday with the launch of ‘The Saga of Sadequain’, a compilation of the maestro’s works, who made waves across the world in the domain of art and culture.

The function was held under the auspices of the Karachi Arts Council, and the Sadequain Foundation brought out the new publications.

Dr Salman Ahmed, an electrical engineer by profession and Sadequian’s nephew, took great pains to collect the artist’s work from different sources, compiling it in two beautiful books.

It was a treat for art lovers, evoking fond memories of the great artist, thinker, poet, visionary and calligraphist, all combined in one.

According to Dr Ahmed, French newspaper Le Figaro published a full-page article on Sadequain with a headline: The art of Sadequain’s multiplicity is reminiscent of Picasso.

The world-famous artist suffered from bi-polar mental disorder and was admitted to the psychiatric ward of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) for sometime.

According to Dr Wasif of the psychiatry department, one day Sadequain made a sketch of a female sweeper. Overwhelmed by his gesture, the sweeper asked him what she could do in return for his kindness.

Sadequain asked her to cook ‘daal roti’ and later went to her quarter, squatted on the floor and had dinner with her.

This correspondent was a witness when Sadequain made his great murals at the Frere Hall, Karachi.

He was a simple man, fuelled by his passion for art. One day I had gone to the Frere Hall with the book ‘Confessions of an English Opium-Eater’ authored by Thomas De Quincy.

The book had sketches with fine line work. I still remember that Sadequain looked at the illustrations with admiration.

Many people even copied his work, selling them at exuberant prices. Sadequain wrote more than 4,000 Rubiyaat and illustrated the poetry of many great poets through his paintings. “Except the murals he made at the State Bank of Pakistan and Mangla Dam, Sadequain never painted for money,” Dr Ahmed said.

Citing MF Hussain a great Indian artist, he said if only 30 percent of Sadequain’s work was taken into account, it would be worth $800 million on the international market. Sadequain passed away on February 10, 1987.

Source: The Mews