The Shortest Distance opens
KARACHI: The art of drawing is an undertaking that is challenging on two counts: (1) it requires the artist not to let lines (or contours) seem an intended, laboured effort lacking natural form (2) the artist’s observation of the subject should be sharp and astute. It was a pleasant surprise to see the exhibition of three young artists’ drawings titled The Shortest Distance, which opened at the Indus Valley School Gallery on Thursday, employing the genre with great understanding and skill.
The three artists — Maria Rasheed, Hassan Mujtaba and Sara Aziz — are graduates of the Beaconhouse National University, Lahore. They have tackled different subjects through, in a manner of speaking, one medium.
Ms Rasheed’s topic is the changes that have occurred in city life. Walled City (pen and ink) is a cogent example of the piece of junk which certain aspects of urban existence come across as. S.I.T.E (pen and ink) touches upon a similar subject. The marked feature of her work is the firm grasp she appears to have on the pen. The artist does not hold it lightly; the viewer can easily tell that the lines are thick, which actually serves her purpose.The four portraits (graphite on vasli paper) made by Hassan Mujtaba are a thoughtful study of children’s faces.
If the first portrait of a child having a shararati look screams ‘boys-will-be-boys’, the next one of a young girl is a decent effort in capturing a child’s face who is not completely sure of having her portrait done. The exhibits are good to view, but the lines he uses are too free-flowing and that can be a two-edged sword. If on the one hand it imparts spontaneity to the subject, on the other hand it can also lend predictability to it.
Content-wise Sara Aziz’s pen and ink on paper work is an eye-catcher. The four pieces she has put on display are small in size but compel the viewer stay and stare at them for a longish period. They have more of a personal ring to them. The last exhibit, which the artist has captioned The Gentlemen’s Guide to Understanding Ladies, is a winner. Some might argue the idea isn’t new. The way she has made 15 sets of eyes with different labels — sad, suspicious, mischievous, etc — is a smile-eliciting work of art, and by no means frivolous. To gauge the veracity of the claim, looking at the one set of eyes labelled ‘flirtatious’ would suffice.
The exhibition will continue till March 6.