An exhibition of contemporary calligraphy and paintings opened up at My Art World gallery on Monday. Titled Alfaaz, the exhibition features artworks by Rabia Malik and Mahjabeen Atif, with each artist exhibiting nine pieces. Unlike most run-of-the-mill, traditional calligraphy pieces, the artwork on display is a combination of contemporary styles and techniques and in some places they comprise only the Arabic alphabet that may or may not make up actual words. This lends the collection an open-ended feel. However, the intertwined scripts, intricate detailing and symbolism make for a visually-appealing mix.
Born in 1949 in Quetta, Pakistan, Lubna Agha was an accomplished realist whose works are widely celebrated as part of a revolutionary Islamic art movement in both figurative and non-figurative abstracts. As a precocious pre-teen, she had shown a sharp artistic bend and enrolled as a full-time student at Karachi School of Art, where she soon started winning competitions and gold medals. In her initial years in the art world, Lubna was impressed by the works of modern masters abroad and moved quickly to the pure abstract with great success at an early age. At the age of 22, she sent ripples through the Pakistani art world by becoming the first female artist to hold a solo show of abstract paintings at the prestigious Arts Council.
Read More: Artistic Strokes of Meditative Precision
It was only at the end of 2013 that I encountered my artist of the year. Waqas Khan showed a work at the Frieze art fair this year but, I’m sad to say, I missed it in the hubbub. It was only when I saw his sensational, visonary art in the Jameel Prize at the V&A that I fell head over heels for an artist who reveals the unstable contours of all things.
Read More: Waqas Khan
The final art commission of London Underground’s 150th anniversary year has been revealed. It is the new edition of the Pocket Tube map released in time Christmas, which will have a cover by Imran Qureshi commissioned through Art on the Underground. Possibly one of the most widely viewed art commissions in the world, 12 million copies are distributed throughout the London tube network. For his cover artwork, entitled All Time Would be Perpetual Spring, Qureshi has used the techniques of traditional Mughal miniature painting from his native Pakistan to present an intricate floral design for each line on the network, inspired by their distinct colours.
Komail Aijazuddin’s paintings are not perfect as far as the level of drawing is concerned; there is a lot of repetition of theme and most surfaces are under-painted. But these works do indicate an aspect of our existence that has been easily forgotten. One finds human bodies placed against Islamic geometric patterns, both ending in drips. These figures vary in terms of their identity — ranging from divine deities to ordinary characters from around us.
Read More: Reasserting Another Past
In one of the most densely populated localities of Multan, stands the Sawi Mosque, depicting an exquisite piece of mosaic art called Kashi Kari. It was built by Nawab Said Khan Qureshi, a noble of the courts of Mughal emperors Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb Alamgir, in Kotla Toley Khan. The Sawi Mosque is the oldest mosque in Multan and is being renovated currently. Kashi Kari – meaning mosaic art in Persian – is a form of decorative art that involves ceramic assortment on tiles, faience and fabric. Artists say that lack of resources is a reason the art is fading in the region.