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Mehers Play of Faces and Masks

Author: Mohammad Jami      Publications: The Herald - Fine Arts      Dated: Jan 27

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Meher Afroz, who is regarded as Pakistans best Graphic artist, has displayed her latest works at the Gallery Chawkandi at Clifton. The show of her paintings and prints open today at 5 p.m.

Meher Afroz who migrated to Pakistan in 1971 from Luck now India, has carved a distinctive position for herself among artists of Karachi. Abstract prints of steady quality have over the years, also earned her several awards in the national exhibitions.

In this show, Meher has entered a new phase, from prints to paintings. For more than one year or so, she has been trying to change her purely abstract compositions to semi-abstract paintings. She has succeeded to a consider-able extent because she has mastered the techniques and has learnt to impart a certain style and degree of perfection to her works. Using acrylics on drawing paper she has used both straight faces and mask-like faces to compose her new statements for her new phase that is likely to continue for quite some time. The symbols, which appear in highly refined forms in her graphics also characterise the paintings which emerge from the chiselled images that have left memorable print on those who have been constantly following her development as an artist.

The beauty and the essence of Mehers art work is in the exquisite treatment. She brings to her graphics and now her painting. The sensitive approach guides her all along the way. You have to look closely at her works and pause at the nuances of the surfaces which have their own magic in the subtle details that give a stamp of quality and perfection to her artistic end favours. The colours blend in sober austere equations and balances.

The present show is remarkably colourful considering that Meher is one of those highly disciplined artists who thrive on minimum colours used for their maximum visual effect. Those who have learnt to like her works will find many of the acrylic compositions and some prints present a play of faces and masks. The joy of looking at Mehers compositions is in relishing the treatment which so superbly crystallise the artists vision to make faces give in to masks and vice versa.