Out-of-the box art: Abdullah Qureshi’s style a new take on abstractionism, says Akhtar

In 'Wandering forms', Abdullah Qureshi has used diverse techniques and colours.


Enamel paintings of Abdullah Qureshi are attracting an unusual number of art enthusiasts at NCA’s Potohar Gallery. PHOTO MUHAMMAD JAVAID/EXPRESS

RAWALPINDI:


Artwork of a young artist reveals compelling, out-of-the-box themes painted in enamel as opposed to the traditional media of acrylic, oil paint or water colours.


The exhibition of the paintings by Abdullah Qureshi that opened at the Potohar Gallery of the National College of the Arts (NCA), Rawalpindi, on Thursday, attracted a large number of people, a rare feat for a contemporary artist.

Qureshi’s “Wandering Forms” is a collection of predominately collage, abstraction, self-imagery and some figuration in mixed media.

According to the artist, his interest lies in exploring abstraction and pushing boundaries in painting and materiality. While he displays diversity in colour and technique, follows no particular subject, lending it a sense of freely flowing creativity.

It is not just the choice of colour but the multitude of dimensions that leaves a lingering visual impact.

“Abdullah’s work has a new take on abstraction, it is not run-of-the-mill and offers something refreshing to the audience,” said Aasim Akhtar, the curator and noted critic and writer.

He wants to inculcate an awareness and appreciation of abstraction in the eyes of those who value figuration, mostly due to familiarity.

Speaking about the artist’s technique and style, Akhtar said, “I found Abdullah’s work and the shape very fluid and amorphous. It is very spontaneous and has a lot of colour.”


Enamel paintings of Abdullah Qureshi are attracting an unusual number of art enthusiasts at NCA’s Potohar Gallery. PHOTO MUHAMMAD JAVAID/EXPRESS

He added that while looking at the pieces, it appears as if the artist’s creation has transcended the canvas.

While a larger body of the work is collage, with painting on photographs or photocopies, the few large figurative pieces do not overpower the former. The paintings exude energy and incandescence, offset with dark, bold edges. The usage of tangy tones of orange, bottle green, crimson and sky blue in one piece come together effortlessly.

A graduate of the Chelsea School of Arts, Qureshi is currently a senior consultant for arts projects and partnerships at the British Council. He also runs his own gallery space, Gallery39K in Lahore.

The artist has exhibited in the country as well as abroad. The current exhibition will continue until January 10 every day from Monday to Friday, between 9am and 4pm.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 21st, 2013.

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