Melody of life: Arts Council’s first graduate brings together music and art

Published: June 28, 2013
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"To be able to achieve movement in the painting is an amazing feat and Haidri has accomplished that feat," Pakistan Art Review editor, Shamim Akhter

"To be able to achieve movement in the painting is an amazing feat and Haidri has accomplished that feat," Pakistan Art Review editor, Shamim Akhter

KARACHI: 

For most people, retirement marks the end of the work life but artist Nazar Haidri decided to take up an old passion once he retired from his job.

One of the first graduates of the Arts Council of Pakistan where he studied in 1961, Haidri viewed his retirement as a rebirth – a chance to realise unfulfilled dreams after being liberated from the need to make a living. Haidri took up painting as a full-time profession about eight years ago, right after he retired from his job as a general marketing manager in a company in Saudi Arabia where he worked for 26 years.

The exhibition ‘Music Painting in Cubism’ is Haidri’s third solo show and he plans to show his works in Lahore and Dubai in the near future.

Nazar Haider’s paintings from the series ‘Music Painting in Cubism’, are being displayed at the Alliance Francaise de Karachi. They show people playing musical instruments and the trance cast by music on them. In his paintings, there are dancing girls, whirling dervishes as well as musicians playing a wide range of instruments, such as the piano, sitar, flute, guitar, violin, tabla, shahnai, tanpura and sarangi. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Haidri was successful in combining his love for music and painting in his work. The 32 paintings on display depict either people playing musical instruments or the trance cast by music on them. In his paintings there are dancing girls, whirling dervishes and musicians playing a wide range of instruments, such as the piano, sitar, flute, guitar, violin, tabla, shahnai, tanpura and sarangi.

Speaking to The Express Tribune about his passion for music, he said, “I listen to classical music from across the globe and I also make sure I attend all musical events in Karachi.” His paintings are an effort to capture the emotional landscape that music inspires in him. Music is a remedy for stress, he said.

The artist adopted the cubism and pointillism techniques in his work. He counts Picasso’s cubist paintings among his inspirations. In cubism, forms are fragmented and presented in an abstract form whereas in pointillism small dots are painted in a pattern to form an image. “Even though I use cubism technique in my paintings, I still manage to maintain the form.” He added that most of his work showcased at the gallery was completed in the last eight months.

Nazar Haider’s paintings from the series ‘Music Painting in Cubism’, are being displayed at the Alliance Francaise de Karachi. They show people playing musical instruments and the trance cast by music on them. In his paintings, there are dancing girls, whirling dervishes as well as musicians playing a wide range of instruments, such as the piano, sitar, flute, guitar, violin, tabla, shahnai, tanpura and sarangi. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Commenting on the prominence of blue colour in many of his paintings he said, “Blue colour symbolises life and it has many romantic undertones.”

Appreciation

“An artist’s main problem is the space,” said the editor of Pakistan Art Review, Shamim Akhter. “The plain canvas is their world and when an artist paints, he encounters this plainness which he fills with his ideas. This is an attempt by the artist to mock the space.” She further added that angles in cubism create infinite space.

Talking about Haidri’s work, she said that, “Using cubism to achieve movement in the painting is an amazing feat and Haidri is one artist who has managed to accomplish this feat successfully.” She was amazed that every musical instrument imaginable was present in the exhibition.

A visitor at the gallery, Nargis Sharif, felt the paintings were one-of-a-kind. “Many paintings are faceless, yet they have a unique factor about them. They have a soothing quality that is needed after the bombardment of conflicts we face daily. Each painting has a story inviting the observer to let their imagination soar.”

Another visitor who had visited Haidri’s previous exhibition at the Arts Council observed that the artist’s choice of colour has evolved. “His focus is on a single theme now. There is also a better flow, which gives a narrative quality to his paintings.”

Nazar Haidri’s exhibition at Alliance Francaise de Karachi will be open till July 2.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (2)

  • Sadia
    Jun 28, 2013 - 4:37PM

    Wow!

    Recommend

  • Syed A. Mateen
    Jun 28, 2013 - 4:40PM

    I wish Mr. Nazar Haidri all the best in his endeavors.

    Recommend

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