Curator’s Statement: Faces, Spaces, Traces

Faces, Spaces, Traces

An Artistic Journey Through Pakistan

Straddling the crossroads of the ancient and the modern, the east and the west, Pakistani artists are just as comfortable with the great art movements of the West as they are with the artistic heritage of the East. Absorbing, blending and experimenting with these varied influences, they have created the diverse, vibrant landscape that is contemporary Pakistani art.

Faces, Spaces, Traces attempts to give viewers a glimpse into the artistic landscape of Pakistan by presenting a sampling of figurative art, landscapes, abstracts, and miniatures.

Faces shows Pakistani artists paying homage to womanhood in a wide range of expressive voices. The female form has been a muse for artists for centuries. It is no less so for Pakistani artists. In their hands, the woman is a symbol not only of beauty and romance but also, and more importantly, of survival, resilience, strength, and grace. Diverse as these representations are, what unites them is an unabashed celebration of the Pakistani woman in all of her enigmatic personas.

Spaces presents tender portrayals of rugged landscapes, dreamlike soft vistas alive with vibrant colors, and energetic modern cityscapes. But these works are more than just representations of mountains, trees, fields, and city skylines. Look carefully and you are rewarded with a glimpse into the lives of the people that inhabit these spaces.

Traces reminds us that Pakistan is a land shaped by cultural, economic and political influences from great empires and civilizations of yore, including the Greek, the Persian, the Mughal, and the British, all of which have left their traces on this ancient land and its people. Pakistani artists revel in their mastery over technique, color, light, and movement while openly acknowledging the influence of impressionism, cubism, pointillism, and the great Eastern artistic traditions of Mughal miniature painting and calligraphy.

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