Bewitching Blues


Working under a plan to play with the blues, Anwar Saeed, a Lahore artist, who had shown his prints in Karachi in his previous shows, has a series of absorbing allegorical paintings on view at the Chakwandi Gallery. He is allegorising different themes, ideas and literary analogies in a range of paintings which are basically dark paintings in which moons and sparkling energy from the half naked figures, silhouettes and shadows provide strategic touches of relief that is light. He is absolutely at home with his new series of bewitching blues with dangling symbols, mostly in browns, on the thresh-olds of meanings and half-meaning. Anwar is a consummate craftsman who has worked on surfaces with a clear vision to demonstrate his magical ability to treat the one single colour, blue. Illuminating, burnishing his blues in ingenious ways gives the aesthetic quality to his works which are above illustrations in their painterly treatment and artistic execution. There are many stories that he wants to portray in a consistency of monochromatic unity in which the variations flow from tiny balancing specks of greens, which remain loyal to a scheme that is both simple and imaginative. Weird visions in sharply geometrical divisions of spaces are enlivened with skill by finishing each painting with technical perfection. His figures levitate and stand firm on the ground or confront the beast and man in fine compositions, beautified with a sense of colour that is in line with the entire scheme of things. The symbol of the moon is repeated with minor variations to respond to a sequence of visualisations of the subconscious. He handles psychological implications with a range of clear interpretations. Anwers aesthetic allegorisations herald a new phase in artists special interest in the parables dreams are made of.