ISLAMABAD: An art exhibition featuring paintings by Argentinean artist Maria Martha Pichel was displayed at the Argentine Embassy on Monday.
Comprising a total 40 paintings, the collection portrays a slice of Argentinean culture in vibrant detail and exuberant, unusual colour palate.
Using acrylic and oil paints, the artist has painted figurative art showcasing voluptuous tango dancers and opera performers, doe-eyed beauties and chiseled featured beaus, lip-locked lovers, ships by harbor or sailing in the sea and scenes of natural beauty. From placid water surfaces to dramatic expression and gestures, the entire collection is nuanced and colourful.
“I wanted to bring a mix so there is no singular theme to this exhibition,” said Pichel, 48, speaking about her displayed work, adding that she draws inspiration from everyday life and translates those emotions and sensibilities onto canvas.
Argentine Ambassador Rodolfo J Martin Saravia spoke about bridging cultures through the universal language of art. “I consider it important to present the art of Argentina which can be housed in Pakistan. There is a growing appetite for art over here, which I’ve seen at the art galleries around Islamabad and this is something I really appreciate,” he said.
Figurative forms painted in expressionist technique seem to be the forte of the artist who has experimented with a vast array of subjects in her artworks. She has juxtaposed bright tones of neon green, fiery red and sea-green turquoise, offsetting them by gold, silver and black. Exaggerating moods and expressions, the artist brings out auras of human relationships, wealth of culture and beauty of nature.
This was the artist’s fifth exhibition in the country, followed by exhibitions in Lahore and Karachi since 2007. Some of her art pieces can be found in art collections at Germany and New York. “I absolutely love the ships, it’s nice to see Pichel back in Pakistan again and we need more of this kind of art in the country,” said Noshi Qadir, curator and art gallery owner, while commenting on the exhibition.
Pichel began painting under the tutelage of her teachers Walter Gavilo, Pablo Edelstein and Santiago Cogorno, at an impressionable age. She has received two international painting prizes and also assisted classes of maestros Hermenegildo Sabat, Eduarodo Stupia, Carlos Herzberg and Taul Mazzoni.
She exhibited her artworks for the first time at the Soudan Gallery in 1982. Residing in Europe and Argentina, Pichel has displayed her art pieces in major art displays around the world.
Art enthusiasts from all walks of life, including diplomats, journalists and businessmen attended the exhibition.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 11th, 2014.