Group calligraphy show ends
By: PEERZADA SALMAN
KARACHI: Usually calligraphic exhibitions in Ramazan suffer from visual monotony owing to the one-dimensional nature of the subject. But a group show that concluded at the Artscene Gallery on Monday evening was distinguished by a variety of artworks, both in terms of technique and content, which artists put on display. There were more than 50 exhibits on view, the highlight of which was two pieces by the late Gulgee. The very mention of the name Gulgee conjures up some familiar images. And yet the two artworks in the exhibition, despite having the typical swirls and thick, lush strokes that are the hallmark of a Gulgee painting, looked different in the spiritual sense. The two holy names, the subject of each artwork, had an air of wilful submission to them. But it’s the kind of wilfulness that stems from frenzied love of God, his messengers and nature. Yes, nature too plays its role in Gulgee’s work that is evident from the use of the colours that assume shapes which are readily and naturally identifiable.
Bin Qalandar’s calligraphic piece was a visual treat. The viewer could not have missed his effort even from a distance leave alone from close proximity, and there was no visual illusion involved. The name of the Prophet was beautifully drawn with blue being the basic colour and Arabic letters completing a story, not just a name.
A.Q. Arif, however, chose a different path. His painting had historical structures (mosques, minarets, domes etc) with the background having an image of the Ka’aba suggesting where it all began from.
Saba Shahid brought in the geometric dimension of spirituality using circles and playing with calligraphic nuances within them. It looked different and challenged the viewer to interpret the artwork intellectually.
While Tariq Javed and Amir Kamal were more traditional in their technique (read: style) without compromising on contemporary aspect of the art, Ahmed Khan’s work had a touch of abstraction that is always welcome when it comes to calligraphy.