Sketches for a lifetime -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Sketches for a lifetime

By: Peerzada Salman

KARACHI: One noteworthy aspect of great artists’ drawings is that the quick, free-flowing lines do not come across as a result of the mastery they have over their art but appear as an integral part of their subject. Their effort gives no indication of work done in haste or something on which less time is spent.

An exhibition of drawings titled ‘Sketchbook’ kicked off at the Karachi School of Art on Tuesday. It is a group show in which artworks (some unfinished) of masters as well as relatively less known artists are on display. On the whole, the show boasts a nice variety of drawings, the prominent feature of which is that individual styles of each artist can be easily discerned.

For example, Bashir Mirza is there with a sketch of a person (charcoal on paper) whose coiled hair adds to the zaniness shown in the subject’s eyes, while Saeed Akhtar highlights all the aesthetics of a face with his wonderful depiction of an elegant woman’s profile ponderously staring at something, indicating the thoughtfulness that can sometimes engulf a human being.

Mehr Afroze takes the symbolic path and uses the hand covered in swirls of dark strokes, as does Rabia Zuberi with her figures that assume various postures, perhaps belonging to different time zones.

S.M. Raza is a young artist and it is now beyond doubt that his creative potential will take him places. This can be easily vindicated from two of his artworks. In one exhibit (colour pencil on paper) he uses a mask instead of eyes against a white, pictureless backdrop and puts the image of a fish in place of lips. It is a serious work of imaginative art. His ‘Waiting Room’ (print on canvas) looks like a paused scene from a film with faces of some of the characters blotted out.

Apart from that, sketches made by established names such as Riffat Alvi, Nahid Raza, Colin David, Rabia Zuberi, Mashkoor Raza, Hajra Mansoor, Lubna Agha and Zainul Abideen to make their presence felt. Here Shakira Masood’s pencil on paper exhibits merit a special mention. The way the artist makes her subject belie her body through bemused facial expressions (or vice versa) is quite striking.

As for artworks by legends like Sadequain and Abdur Rehman Chughtai, words should be told not to step out of their domain.

The exhibition will continue until Dec 28.