Author: NULL Publications: NULL Dated: NULL
Meher Afroz, who has been mainly doing the prints, has now suddenly and prolifically switched over to producing paintings. The abstract symbols have now taken sharply figurative images and the faces and masks in the puppetrys versatile range have been blended into print-like paintings. Her show at the Gallery Chawkandi is the best in town and provides truly authentic aesthetic joy. Meher is a hardworking painter who has already won awards in national exhibitions and local shows for her outstanding graphic works. In order to fully appreciate her paintings, it is necessary to have a good idea of the kind of prints Meher had been making ever since she came to Pakistan in 1971 from Lucknow, India, where she had her formal schooling. Her choice of colour was limited – browns, yellows, blacks and maroons and greys used with great sense of composition. Each print had both visual and aesthetic quality that comes from having learnt ones lessons well. She knows that it is meant to be creative and original. Having perfected her printing techniques, she has continued to polish her sense of what is known as refining ones vision in the difficult art of using the metal plates to do the magic. Mehers paintings are superb extensions of those highly refined sensibilities. The big change from prints to paintings is not the only aspect to be noted in Mehers present show. There are so many changes and new elements in her art. She is more colourful and in fact, buoyant and cheerful in her approach and has been using both decorative and assertive symbols in a variety of ways. The puppet-like masks and faces form the main figurative thrust and embellish her compositions which are still carrying the same surface values and the exquisite treatment that formed her artistic statements in the prints. The most unusual and off-the-track paintings have been displayed by artist Nasir Shamsie who has been creatively exercising with the circle a focal point, and its visually meaningful relationship with angular forms. Using subtle tones of subdued colours and putting the convenience that acrylics offer for free play to their imaginative exploitation; Nasir Shamsie has presented his own essay in art. His ideas are both thought-provoking and eye-opener in their highly calculated approach to art. His determined will to vibrantly intellectualise on the canvas should trigger discussions on his art. Nasirs efforts to simplify and yet retain the artistic values have led him into producing so many configurations of the images that blend so beautifully in utterly simple imagery. Frames within frames and images within images keep on exercing powerful pull on the viewers who like to share the aesthetic perceptions that Nasir Shamsie is trying to put across. This is the first time that he has decided to hold a first one-man show after having practised quietly for 20 years. Nasir is a purist whose statements have to have a stamp of vision so sharply defined in the simplification processes he has developed for his kind of art.