Expressionism In Sculpture


Shahid Sajjad has come a long way since the adventurous sixties before he became Pakistans foremost sculptor. He remembers when in the Louvre he was so inspired by the sculptures of the nineteenth Century French master, Auguste Rodin, that he sat down for days drawing the contours of his figures until he was virtually thrown out by the museum curator. Some of those pictures, drawn with a beautiful economy of line and enthusiasm, still remain. ln fact the same linear clarity and modernistic economy can be found in his last series of prints. After about twenty years, Pakistans major sculptor returned to paper, after going through periods of wood sculptures and reliefs, plaster, and bronze.

One of the remarkable, distinct aspects of Shahids art is its experimentalism. Not content to rest in one place and settle into some sort of style or tradition (“tradition is like a dead body to me” he says,) like a butterfly Shahid has flown from one place to another and this restlessness and drive have shown themselves in the diversity of his work.

A couple of years back, he displayed a series of prints called “Fossilised images”. Our minds are forced to interpret and seek out familiar objects from clouds of subdued cobalt or grey. Sepia colours, rich mottled textures eroded edges remind us of sedimentary rock in which leaves, fossils, images or animals have been trapped. Sometimes the printed images resemble quick and sure lines that have been incised into rock to show human figures in dance like movements or rituals from some Paleolithic Age.

Shahid Sajjads art has continuously betrayed a Gauguinesque attitude to nature:

Shahid Sajjads art has continuously betrayed a Gauguinesque attitude to nature: one of contemplation and admiration, the peaceful, the primitive, the simple.