It is not for the first time that the male body is the main subject of Mansur’s paintings. But, this time around, the work is “more experimental and has garnered multiple interpretations,” from veteran artists visiting the show at the Ejaz Art Gallery.
RM Naeem sees the subjects as men in rural Pakistan. Some viewers believed the pieces were “sexual and provocative”. Some of them referred to the diminishing kabaddi culture once popular in the old city of Lahore, said Mansur of the feedback.
The eight pieces, all oil on wasli, have been a source of immense satisfaction for Mansur who believes “there could be no better subject than the male body.
The paintings are priced between Rs45,000 and Rs90,000.
The exhibition, which opened on February 12 and will run until February 19, also features experimented work by three recent NCA graduates.
Scheherezade Junejo, a Fine Arts 2010 graduate, has depicted postures inspired by yoga and dance in her three pictures.
She said: “I have dealt with theme of personality traits by working on skins and layers. A piece titled Badha Konasana shows a human body stretching. The arms are in colour while the rest of the body is painted black and white.”
Junejo says the twisting arm is shown in colour to reflect how the body “changes to become,” while the black and white part shows the body prior to exposure to yoga. “In some ways, this painting reflects a human life,” said the Karachi-based artist.
Her paintings are priced between Rs45,000 and Rs60,000.
Dua Abbas has attempted “to achieve a synthesis between art from the East and the West from 16th to 18th century.”
“My work focuses on the magic and power the women have. I have used a palette of a different era to project modern women, real and fantastical,” says Abbas who has six pastels and varnish-on-canvas on display.
Seven pieces by Sarah Hashmi show “uneasiness and rigidity that builds into relationships over time.” She has taken old family photographs and painted them.
“The subjects look into viewers’ eyes… the scratching of the paint after applying it to the canvas is meant to give a feel of distance and quiet.”
The show ends on February 19.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 18th, 2013.