‘Dialogues with Piet Mondrian’: Pakistani artist weaves inspiration from Dutch painter

The exhibition showcased woven patterns and designs

Hafsah Sarfraz December 18, 2015


An exhibition titled “Woven Narratives: dialogues with Piet Mondrian” by Pakistani artist, Ghulam Hussein was displayed at the Embassy of Netherlands in collaboration with Satrang Gallery on Friday.

Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Marcel de Vink said that it was a true pleasure to host the exhibition of Pakistani artist Ghulam Hussein at the embassy.

“Who would have thought that the façade of the embassy could also inspire a Pakistani artist”, said the ambassador with a laugh.

“Ghulam Hussein embarked on a dialogue with this well travelled painter, in a very creative manner. What is striking is that wherever one stands when looking at the Dialogue with Mondrian, a different image emerges. It compels the observer to engage in a dialogue with the works of art. The conversation goes from a subtle, single coloured woven patchwork to the late Mondrian’s Boogie Woogie shapes and colours”, he said.

Ghulam Hussein, while speaking to The Express Tribune, said that he was often asked which artist influenced and inspired his work.

“I couldn’t figure that out throughout college until I went to New York and saw the works of Piet Mondrian. That is when I realized my work is similar to his and I started studying his work in great detail and did immense research on his it”, he said.

He also mentioned that his family belonged to Sindh and therefore, there was a lot of influence of Sindhi culture in his work.

“I did ralli work as my thesis and was greatly discouraged for it. I was told this is not art but my internal instinct believed that it was indeed art and I worked on it further. On the day of the thesis display, everyone sold parts of their work but nobody was interested in buying mine until an Italian curator of Pakistani origin came and demanded all my works. That really inspired me to struggle more and work further”, he said.

Director Satrang Gallery, Asma Khan, said that the exhibition was a unique collection of art work that presented beautifully woven patterns and designs, building a mesh of layers, where disparate individual threads come together in a tapestry of colour, pattern and form to create a new formation and foundation.

“Hussein’s work not only pays homage to an age old craft, but it also demonstrates to the viewer the benefits of combining separate schools of thought, traditions and philosophies to form a new, mutually favourable fusion”, she said.

The artwork displayed consisted mainly of mixed media including opaque watercolour on woven wasli in different themes and sizes.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 19th, 2015.


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