KARACHI: On January 28, 2020, Main Frame Gallery hosted an exhibition of renowned national and international watercolourists titled ‘Acquerello 2020.’ Curated by Ali Abbas Syed and Fatima Ali, the motive behind bringing international artists in was to promote the medium of watercolours, encourage them and utilise art as a platform for cultural exchange.
Acclaimed artists from 36 countries, including Mona Omrani and Keiko Hoshino, Iman Shahmoradi, Akbar Akbari, Nader Mohazahnia, Sareh Mozebean Zadeh (Iran), George Politis, Anna Massinisa, Roberto Andreol, Pasqualino Fracasso, Atanur Dogan, Eudes Corria, Kiril Buzhkov, Selma Todorova, Krasi Todorov, Elis Penaseyko and Tejo Van Den Broeck, Atanul Panase, Graham Berry, Linda Doll and Suzy Schultz, Boon Kwang, Goh Shy Lang, Rajkumar Stabathy, Rustam Khan, Ali Abbas Syed Moazzam Ali, Hajra Mansur, Imran Khan, AH Rizvi, Shan Raza Amrohi , Ghulam Hussain, Usman Aziz Tarar and Mohammad Ramzan participated.
The show comprised of rich figurative paintings and portraits - an exploration of watercolour, its techniques and styles. Contemporary watercolourists exuded their country’s cultural heritage and used multiple techniques to enhance the beauty of the medium which made all paintings equally striking.
Penaseyko, Syed, Ali, Shahmoradi, Akbari, Atul Panase, Stabathy, Mohazahnia, Fracasso, Broeck and Dogan displayed paintings from their most famous series, which was the highlight of the evening. Vibrant shades, fine detailing, nimble strokes and the perfect balance of contrast while maintaining the transparency of watercolours spoke through the canvases, showing the artists’ excellent grip over the medium and limitless abilities to paint in different styles.
Syed painted the Thar Desert and a Dervish. He showed Sufism in his signature style and created a smoky and sandy environment in his realistic painting. Ali continued with the Thar theme, painting women of the region. He outlined the figures and enhanced the features and dressed the women with traditional Thar jewellery.
One could observe drips, splashes and natural textures created on each painting but in a different style that made each of the works more attractive than the other. Artists believe that watercolours are the most flexible medium and its beauty of lies in the freedom of applying colours that create vibrancy.
All the paintings were perfectly composed and easy for a layman to decode. There was a range of intense work that allowed viewers to observe the fact that watercolours might be the toughest medium but once one develops a command over them, they are good to go.
The rest of the artists painted various moods and expressions such as joy and sadness, stages of life, culture and traditions. The colour palette and choice of subjects portrayed the artists’ ability to create a relatable visual narrative.
Massanisa, Stabathy, Fracasso, Kwang, Penaseyko, Dogan, Jorge, painted close up portraits. Rizvi, Khan, Panase, Mohazahnia, Akbari and Zadeh made portraits of individuals in clothes or professions different regions and cultures. The vibrant colours exuded happiness and life.
Politis, Eudes and Doll painted individuals using a softer colour palate though. These individuals could be observed giggling or standing at sea shore whereas Hoshino, Schultz and Berry had worked on visualising the moments of everyday life.
Rizvi and Mansoor painted women dressed in traditional clothing. The technique was much like traditional Mughal miniatures wherein the features are overly enhanced and exaggerated to portray the Asian concept of beauty. Khan, Hussain, Amrohi, Tarrar and Ramzan had also worked on portraits and figures that celebrate local culture.
Acquerello 2020 will continue till Feb 8, 2020.