Exhibition: Deciphering the world through cohesive art
ISLAMABAD: On the surface, the Pakistan-Swedish artist Ubaid Syed and the Swedish artist Ivan Joern never met. But displayed together, their paintings have a strange harmony that intrigues the viewer, as observed at the latest exhibition at Nomad Gallery on Wednesday.
Syed paints nature albeit with a bizarre and melancholic twist. Dark Hues of blue, brown and purple dominate the canvas in his work. Contrary to most South Asian artists, his work is more blurred and smudged with lesser use of bold colours and heavy textures.
Be it a river slowly snaking through valleys or green pastures tucked under mountainous ranges, his work draw the viewer in. Syed has worked mainly with acrylic on canvas. His work defines images or objects coming together as whole of otherwise discrete parts.
“Artists need to undermine their own nature, comprehend the grand design that is manifested in all the creation and creatures. They need to decompose themselves to penetrate the visible surface and then transform their feelings into images,” said Syed.
Interestingly, all of Joern’s works at the gallery comprise the private collection of the Swedish Ambassador Lars-Hjalmar Wide that he gave to the gallery.
“My father was Joern’s doctor and he became an avid collector of his work,” said Wide while talking to The Express Tribune.
Born in Karistad in 1902, Joern studied at an art college Mora where renowned Swedish painter Anderszon was his drawing teacher. However it was not until 1946 that Joern had his breakthrough at the “Modern KonstiHemmiljo” art gallery located on the high-end Strandvagen street Stockholm. He died at the age of 66.
Heavily influenced by Picasso and Van Gogh, hid work depicts disarray. With heavy brush strokes and layers, the work exudes an eerie feel even with the dash of bright yellow or red across the canvas.
“His work is just fascinating, with a variety of emotions cut across each other and overlapping,” said the gallery curator Nageen Hayat. The exhibition continues till February 28.