Lahore-based artist Matloob Baig listens to his inner whisperings, painting what he believes rather than what he sees. His solo exhibition, “Vivid Vistas”, opened at Gallery 6 on Saturday evening and was inaugurated by the Norwegian Ambassador Cecilie Lansverk.
Lansverk lingered at each painting, taking in the strokes of nature that made the canvases a tangible experience. “There is a romantic mysticism in the paintings,” she said, adding that the paintings made her nostalgic for Norway, a country where, “nature is everything.”
There are 25 paintings in the exhibit, each an ode to the striking beauty of nature, revealing the artist’s adoration for the natural landscape.
There is an atmospheric romance present in the paintings that are depictions of trees, ponds and lakes whilst exploring light.
Foggy blues, nostalgic pinks and bright yellows colour the canvases, reflecting in the space and inviting the viewer to take a walk inside the imagery.
“Baig is like a contemporary Monet,” commented Arjumand Mahmood, a guest at the opening reception. She said that the paintings reminded her of the tranquillity and colours of the countryside.
An amateur artist, Omar Waheed, pondered over the reflection of leaves on a dancing pond. “I am admiring the small brush strokes,” he said, as he tried to decipher whether the painting was a take on realism or expressionism.
Curator of the gallery, Arjumand Faisel, said, “All his works have feelings and are expressive as well as descriptive, capturing the beauty of colours and their chromatic effects in nature — in spring, summer, autumn or winter.”
Baig received his MA from the Punjab College in 1999 and has since exhibited at several shows, both group and solo, which include the Designer Guild and Royaat Gallery in Lahore where the artist is based.
“Vivid Vistas” is the artist’s second show at Gallery 6 and will remain up until June 3 for nature lovers and art enthusiasts.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 20th, 2012.
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