Exhibition of Sadequain’s hitherto unseen works draws large crowd
Karachi Art fans, especially old-timers, were treated to a collection of the late artist Sadequain’s works, works which had never been displayed before, at a hotel on Monday evening.
As the late artist’s grandson, Sibtain Naqvi, head of the university relations division, Habib University, Karachi, said that while his grandfather was known as a muralist, painter and calligrapher, it was not known to many that he also made portraits of his family and very intimate ones. These portraits date over the period 1942-1986.
“On such occasions, I really have a feeling that Dada is still with us,” said Naqvi.
He said mostly rulers and leaders gave patronage to artists, and that made them go down in history, but there were some who never got state patronage or never accepted it. He said his grandfather belonged to the latter category. He said that exactly 50 years ago to the day a function on a similar theme was held at the hotel which then had a
different name. The function was held to project the “developments” brought about by the rulers of the day. He said his grandfather was proud of having turned down rulers but he painted and patronised Lakshmi, who used to make his bed in hospital.
Naqvi said “Sadequain exposed the hypocrisy and lies of the rulers”, and targeting the late president Ayub Khan in particular, he was always trying to make it clear to the masses the unrest that lay behind Ayub’s much-touted figure of eight percent growth. He said that behind this façade, society was actually collapsing. “The tragic events of December 1971 proved him absolutely right,” he said. The exhibition is based on 31 of his portraits in pen-and-ink, marker and water colours. Born in 1930 in Amroha, India, Sadeqian did his intermediate in 1946. Later, he started teaching at the IM College. In 1948, he migrated to Pakistan.
Sibtain reminisced about many of his childhood memories of the late artist at Sibtain Manzil, Karachi, Sadequain’s residence.Being a man of the masses, one of Sadequain’s portraits is that of a robust sturdy farmer harvesting the wheat which certainly could be classified as a masterpiece. The chief marketing officer of the Hashoo Group, Andrew Ashmore, compered the function.