- 30 May - 05 Jun, 2020
WAHAB JAFFER - At The ArtCiti Gallery
- 12 May - 18 May, 2018
Acolourful exhibition of paintings by the celebrated artist Wahab Jaffer, took place at ArtCiti Gallery recently, and it seemed the paintings glowed from the walls of the gallery to the enjoyment of visitors. It was gratifying to note the number of artists who attended the show as Wahab is a popular member of art circles. While in Karachi, he makes it a point to attend the exhibitions going on in the city, and takes enormous pleasure viewing the fine work of other artists. His work has been exhibited widely to great appreciation, and his private collection acquired over decades he regards as his history.
“When I first became deeply involved with art in the, 70s, it was a very exciting time. A lot of work was being done and new artists sprang into
prominence. Some had just returned from abroad and the work going on was dynamic although the art market as such was in its infancy. Artists shared their news and their fortunes, good or bad, with their fellow beings and there was a lot of interesting interaction going on. Often we’d meet up at the Indus Gallery and take part in a dialogue with Ali Imam and carried on the tradition meeting on Sunday afternoon’s until his demise in 2002.”
Wahab began showing his work in exhibition in group shows in 1975, and held his first solo exhibition at the Indus Gallery in 1983. Since then his work has been shown throughout Pakistan and countries both East and West to great appreciation.
Healers have been long aware of the importance of colour in the healing process. At an international conference on arts and health that took place recently in London, it was resolved that visual arts can reduce the need for painkillers. A wide study initiated, examined biological and physiological changes taking place after exposure to the arts and concluded that visual art is effective in reducing depression
Eschewing references to actuality, Wahab’s canvases create a dazzling, mood enhancing, visual experience that takes the observer beyond the minutiae of daily happenings. A reference to still life becomes an explosion of enmeshed shades and lines morphing into ethereal blooms. In these paintings the viewer shares the enormous pleasure the artist obtains from the process of creativity.
His latest collection of artworks include densely patterned oval canvases portraying exotic, androgynous faces composed of diverse strokes in shades and tones that are seemingly surrounded by gradient light. A reference to still life becomes an explosion of enmeshed shades and lines morphing into birds of paradise, or ethereal blooms. In these paintings the viewer shares the enormous pleasure the artist obtains from the process of creativity.
In Wahab’s work one discovers areas of experimentation; freely layered with sweeping brushstrokes, and textures that are combined with designed areas of lines and shapes. The artist’s ability to melt and meld shades combined with strong lines of darker tones is the outcome of years of practice. Like those mentors of bygone years, painting is an integral part of Wahab’s life and he paints from early morning often for hours at a stretch.
His art practice began in the 1970s, when art in Pakistan had become so diversified that artists had unlimited opportunities to express individual viewpoints. It was an era of great vitality and variegation with artists such as Gulgee, Sadequain and Ahmed Parvez, creating a stir, and younger artists like Colin, Saeed Akhtar and Ahmed Khan making a considerable impact on the burgeoning market. Enjoying it all was S. Ali Imam who was educating potential collectors, and encouraging artists to air their views with their peers. It was a time of dialogue, of experimentation and possibilities.
The unique allure of Jaffer’s oeuvre involves his understanding of space and tone in compositions that address colour as a subject. Canvases of various sizes portray exotic faces composed of diverse shades and tones seemingly surrounded by abstract light. These are visual sirens, beckoning the viewer to enter a tempting world of fantasy.
A friend of the art group, Frances Newton Souza remarked, “In Wahab’s paintings it is always Christmas.” •
- 23 May - 29 May, 2020
- 09 May - 15 May, 2020
- 02 May - 08 May, 2020
- 18 Apr - 24 Apr, 2020
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