Out of the blue and into the gallery

Komail Aijazuddin’s newest collection draws heavily from Greek art history


Saadia Qamar March 03, 2017
Aijazuddin explored historical, political and cultural aspects of society in his artwork. PHOTO: COURTESY CANVAS GALLERY

KARACHI: It will not come as a surprise to anyone who sets foot in Canvas Gallery that artist Komail Aijazuddin’s latest work on display, titled ‘Out of the Blue’, is dominated by sapphire blue hues.

“I took an undergraduate course on Roman and Greek art history while I was at New York University but when I went to Greece last summer I understood the classical approach towards art and that really floored me,” said the artist.

The artist used shades of blue in most of the works on display. PHOTO: COURTESY CANVAS GALLERY The artist used shades of blue in most of the works on display. PHOTO: COURTESY CANVAS GALLERY

 

‘Composition in Blue’, an oil on canvas, depicted a scene straight out of Ancient Greece, with scantily garbed people reclining on furniture with the famous Santorini coast and blue domed houses in the background. In contrast to this, ‘War in Red’ was a fiery, angry piece that depicted rage and turmoil.

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Notably, Aijazuddin used oil on silver or gold leaf to allow the classical statuary pieces to stand out. “When I went to Greece I started to see a lot of blue there. Clarity in my artwork comes with blue and pasting over it with silver leaves in the background,” he explained.

But when talking about background, the artist insisted that the role of identity is very clear cut there. “There have been instances where Muslims had relations with the Greeks. Alexander too came here (towards the East) to conquer. Besides, in present times the refugee influx is happening in Europe via Greece,” he said. Aijazuddin concluded that he understands the binary via the East-West amalgamation.

Aijazuddin explored historical, political and cultural aspects of society in his artwork. PHOTO: COURTESY CANVAS GALLERY Aijazuddin explored historical, political and cultural aspects of society in his artwork. PHOTO: COURTESY CANVAS GALLERY

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“Komail Aijazuddin has been exhibiting here at Canvas for the past seven years and has brought forward very different series of work. His work is entrenched in art history and is thoroughly well-researched,” said Canvas Gallery owner Sameera Raja. “There are historical, political and cultural things we see in the Greek sphere and these are the things we are getting involved in. But really his collection is about Greek mosaic.”

The exhibition continues till March 9.

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