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Askaris Dazzling Show and a New Gallery

Author: Mohammad Jami      Publications: Art in Karachi      Dated: 30 Jan 1992

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Lahore artist, Mian Askari Irani, who has only recently started selling his deftly designed and utterly decorative paintings at high prices, has mounted his major show at Chawkandi Art Gallery.

Opulent mughal images of kings and queens, Islamic architectural motives and a liberal sprinkling of Quranic calligraphy are blended into attractive compositions.

Askari is basically a decorator of canvases, and his deft craftsmanship allows him to compose in a coherent manner. His sense of colour is so fluorescently colourful that he produces one chiaroscuro after the other with great ease.

He is extremely adept in using greens and blues of turquoise brilliance. Using Jalli motifs with Ayat and similar Arabic calligraphic notations comes very easy to him. Essentially an embroiderer of engaging motifs, he has displayed richly executed works for his big account clients.

How to put life into ones retirement days? One way is to operate an art gallery. Mr Irfan Hussain who worked with Karachi Art Council for over 25 years, has launched “Gallery-122″ at Clifton Centre.

Besides the name of the new gallery, another interesting aspect is the avalanche of messages that his admirers and contemporaries have unleashed on him in the invitation-cum-introduction card of “Gallery 122”.

He is a resourceful person and yet he has chosen to launch his venture with a group show of so many artists, some dead, some half working and others too young to merit being exhibited with the art stalwarts.

The “Gallery 122” is a good place. The lighting is unconventional in which spotlights are missing, causing fluorescent tubes to play funny with colours. Let is a welcome addition to Clifton art circuit where “Gallery 122” is a third private art outlet vying for attention.