Portrait of an artist
KARACHI: An exhibition of renowned artist Nahid Raza’s latest body of work opened at the Canvas Art Gallery on Tuesday evening.
Nahid Raza has proven credentials as one of Pakistan’s leading woman artists. Her exploration of female condition, sometimes dubbed feminism, and her figurative paintings have been discussed and admired to death. Recently her foray into the spiritual side to existence, too, earned her a great deal of adulation. And just when one begins to think that Ms Raza has been there, has done it all, she comes up with something that compels art lovers to trace her career trajectory. There’s definite an evolution.
The current exhibition has a strong personal resonance. Add to this the artist’s penchant to tell stories pertaining to women’s woes, and the viewer gets a clear sense of how far she has pushed the boundaries in her creative pursuit. The first artwork on display indicates what’s to come. It’s called ‘Alone’, a personal statement that can be seen from an impersonal perspective as well. The blackness around the image at the bottom of the mixed media on canvas work speaks of the placement of that image in the exhibit, hence in society.
The theme continues with ‘Symbol of Loneliness’ as the same darkness surrounds the protagonist. There is a sudden shift with ‘Three Stories’; three faces are seen together, breaking the monotony of the single face. Here the collective conscience for which the artist is known comes to the fore, not for long though because it is with ‘Waiting’ that Ms Raza’s creative prowess dazzles the viewer. Again, the image of the woman is at the bottom, but what makes this piece a special one is the solid yellow lines at the top indicating the limits that the character in the painting can go to. It’s not so much the content that impresses instead it’s the overall aesthetic appeal of the artwork which slowly intellectualizes the issue, which is quite startling.
Then there is an exhibit titled ‘Face to Face’ where Ms Raza resorts to geometric shapes hinting at her past efforts. However, it’s not detached from the thematic composition of the rest of the paintings. The exhibition will be open till April 25.