Aesthetically harmonious: Paintings portray architectural heritage

Kazi’s work focuses on havelis, shrines, and palaces


The work featured in the exhibition is primarily oil on canvas and heavily inspired by architecture and heritage. PHOTOS: HUMA CHOUDHARY/EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: Although the capital city frequently witnesses art exhibitions mostly by young and upcoming painters, a welcoming feature is that it does not forget seasoned artists either.

One such exhibition “A heritage preserved” opened at Nomad’s Saidpur Village gallery on Monday showcasing masterpieces of veteran artist GN Kazi.

Talking about his work, Kazi told The Express Tribune that he is particularly fascinated by Pakistan’s cultural heritage, old buildings, shrines and ancient and narrow alleys.

“I have traveled all over Pakistan and truly appreciate our cultural heritage and architecture. I think it is extremely distinct and beautiful and this is what I have reflected in my work as well,” he commented.

“My over 30 years of painting architectural perspective of cities and buildings has given me the experience of handling a varied colour palette and experimenting with imaginary facades too, which I often insert in some of my artwork”, he said.

“He is an extremely a talented artist. He has chosen culture and architectural heritage as his point of interest, showing its complexities and simplicities side by side to complement and highlight the other,” curator and activist Nageen Hyat commented while talking to The Express Tribune.

“Kazi’s work is stunning to say the least and the most distinctive feature about his paintings is that there are absolutely no boundaries in his work. His subjects move from forts to palaces and havelis since he is heavily inspired by architecture, particularly from traditional Mughal period and shrines of sufis and saints.”

About his colour combination, Hyat said he is fond of using minimum colours but he does use several bright shades in monotones, which make the paintings stand out.

“Using minimum colours ensures that attention of the viewer does not divert from subject of his soil.”

He graduated with a diploma in fine arts from Karachi School of Arts in 1995 and has been exhibiting his work ever since. Internationally, he has exhibited in the UK, India and Bangladesh. He has participated in group and solo exhibitions at Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.

The artworks on display are primarily oil on canvas. A lot of earth tones and browns have been used in paintings but at the same time tinge of bright colours like blue and orange have also been used to make the paintings stand out. It is not just that his colour palette is stunning but his work is beautifully textured too, which makes the paintings look rather surreal.

As an artist, it seems like Kazi is very rooted in the soil and believes in preserving heritage and architecture of Pakistan. His work is not typical and too commercial because he focuses on his personal admirations and instinct while painting, which makes it unique and beautiful.

The paintings are serene and aesthetically pleasing, harmonious and tranquil. They are quite a treat for eyes and soul and that precisely is the reason why the exhibition deserves a visit which continues till September 12.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 1st, 2015.

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