Triptych of Friends opens
KARACHI: A group exhibition titled Triptych of Friends opened at the Clifton Art Gallery on Thursday. As the name suggests, the show features three artists, and these three individuals — Ustad Bashir Ahmad, Saeed Kureshi and Chitra Pritam — need no introduction. They are painters of renown.
There’s a decent variety of Ustad Bashir’s work on display. But what needs to be highlighted here is his equestrian-themed ‘Overtake’ series (mixed media on paper). How many times have art lovers seen horses being painted or sculpted? Answer: countless. Why? Answer: because horses symbolise power, poise and freedom. The Ustad also brings in history to blend with (his) art in a seamless way. The history that the artist is trying to depict is of a region that the viewer can relate to or identify with. However, he never lets his craft get overshadowed, literally and figuratively, by the unmissable subject matter.
Kureshi focuses on faces and places. He too deals with the historicity of his protagonists, with a difference. While he does give hints of the locale that he sets his characters in, it is their postures and expressions that give away their disposition. He calls one such piece ‘Contemplative Glance’ (oil on canvas). Indeed, it is a contemplative glance. The thing to be examined is that the character is looking away from the frame, as if there’s a quest, a search for something/someone is on. This makes contemplation turn into longing.
Pritam speaks a totally different, and equally delightful, language. His landscapes are a treat to lay your eyes on for multiple reasons. First of all, they are a celebration of colours. Secondly, rural life, with all its tranquil gloriousness, takes centre stage in his artworks. And thirdly, despite being captured as paintings, they depict life in motion — a beautiful and pure life.
The exhibition will continue until March 1.