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Green palette

Pakistan inherited much from colonial rule when, on August 14, 1947, it became a sovereign state because there was no other source of developed knowledge and information other than what the rulers accepted and then left for themselves.

The British took control of a state that was largely a monarchist under the Mughals, but when they left, it had to accept the whole known democratic system of politics; the thrones, where the emperors once sat, secured the governor-general, presidents, and prime ministers for the future. The army, social institutions, music, sports, fashion, cuisine, architecture, and administration, in short, all spheres of life absorbed and displayed a rich wealth of postcolonial Western influence, as this doctrine was considered the best and most appropriate due to its association with the ruling and powerful class.

The language has adopted a modern and unconventional style thanks to a complete exit from Persian and partly Arabic; two major languages ​​that have remained a hallmark of distinction and wisdom for the Muslim community, from the Nile to Kashgar. Modern Muslims, especially after bringing them to the status of modern politics thanks to the entirely new and liberal policies of the Indian Conference of Mohammed Anglo and the scholars of Oligarch College, which later became a university, were well acquainted with the new philosophy, psychology and architecture. , science and all other branches of literature and art, this class actually occupied after the birth of the new state of Pakistan on August 14, 1947. Therefore, the general acquaintance with Pakistani art was mainly the inspiration of Western contemporary art of the early period. 20th century; fragments of postmodern American or postwar European art.

In the early days of Pakistan, Anna Molka Ahmed was in Lahore, a migrant artist from the UK who also tied the first generation of Pakistani artists to the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Punjab, which she founded in 1940. This department prepared the first batch of four teachers who later formed the first years of Pakistani art; these were Anwar Afzal, Zakia Malik Sheikh, Razia Feroz and Nasim Hafeez Kazi.

On the other hand, there was Zubeda Aga, who was trained by BS Sanial and Italian prisoner of war Mario Perlingeri. She later received an art education in the west, so was influenced by western style and technique. Zubeda rejected the traditional style of painting and became the first modernist colorist, despite the resistance of domestic critics.

At the same time, Anna Molka tried to cover local themes related to religion and folklore, but because she was an expressionist in her technique, the local fauna and flora caught fire after being expressed using the “knife and palette” technique. Sometimes Anna just squeezed the colored tube on the canvas and pulled it with a knife to get the right immediacy and embossed texture. So what she produced was indigenous in subject matter, but very western in terms of technique.

Given that the native style was attributed to the Mughal School of Miniature Painting, which later gained popularity in the hills of Himachal Pardesh (Basoli, Chamba, Guler, Kangra and Bilaspur) before the Sikh era. Ustad Haji Sharif was one of the exhibitors of the painting in the court style due to the long affiliation of their ancestors to the royal court of Patiola, an important Sikh state of the present-day Indian Punjab. After moving to Lahore, Ustad Sharif passed on his knowledge and passed on top lighting and book illustration skills to the Department of Fine Arts and the Mayo School of the Arts (NCA) in Lahore.

Another Ustad, Allah Bakhsh, in keeping with the traditional and realistic style of the East contributed to the birth of Pakistani painting. Allah Bakhsh painted a rich culture and folklore along with a touch of romanticism in the subject, especially when he put on the canvas such folk love stories as Hir Ranja and Sokhni Mahival, and at the same time he was influenced by modern art and romantic artists from the west, exhibit mystical canvases like “Talism and Hoshrub”.

During this evolutionary process, secular miniature painting breathed in Calcutta, where Abyandr Nath Taygor was a big fan of the hash technique. This style inspired the free hand of Abd al-Rahman Chuthai, who evolved the Bengali style of miniature painting to unmatched heights. Apart from Chutai, no one could really maintain the standards of lyrical quality, soft layers of diffuse pigments and stylized approach, although few tried to get acquainted with the technique, but the wisdom and education of Chugtai acquired in this area. art from abroad and from abroad, and the intelligentsia around him in the form of his famous friends made him the only example of his own style; Chuthai style.

Later, Pakistan was associated with a magician from Sodekian: a painter with theatrical qualities, dramatic themes and a very rough line of quality, who hatched texture in the frame to give rise to philosophical and poetic themes that the artist inspired to a great level. The desire for louder and clearer communication forced Sadekian to switch to calligraphic painting, which later became his face and was exhibited on a large scale, such as the ceilings and frescoes in the Lahore Museum and the Mangla Dam, respectively. Ismail Gulgi was another advertiser of the calligraphic style of painting, which, being conceived as “Islamic art” as opposed to figurative art, gained popularity in religious groups. Eventually non-figurative art earned market recognition and flourished under the unfavorable circumstances of 1980s military-Islamic rule.

If we look at academic inspirations other than Anna Molka, we can find Shakira Ali tall and exclusive in the scene with her very simple and rhythmic paintings in flat shades of reds, oranges and blues along with a variety of lines. Its textures in flat colored areas were simple but skillfully crafted and skillfully balanced. His presence at Lahore National College of the Arts has led many to follow him in acquiring new and modern techniques, which he picked up during his academic stay in London.

In Western art, Cézanne, Van Gogh and Gauguin are later taken as the initiators of Cubism, Expressionism and Fauvism. According to this scheme, we could divide Pakistani art into three dimensions – the followers of Chutay, Sadekawin and Shakira Ali. However, since the latter was the director and teacher of a famous art institution, his impact was enormous. For this reason, we were able to see his followers in the form of Panj Piare (five loved ones) modeled after Navratny Akbar (Nine Jewels). These were Rachel Akbar Javed, Sheikh Safdar, A.J. Shamza, Ali Imam and Moyene Najmi. Another reason for such popularity was the style and themes that Shakir introduced to the new generation of the late 1960s and early 1970s, which were more practical and corporeal in execution, even to reflect the most abstract and intangible ideas, contrary to Sudek’s miniatures or poetic themes.

Pakistani institutes provided education on the western lines, while the old masters of the usual conventional styles mostly transferred their art to the graves, with the small exception of a few students.

In “Calligraphy” Ahmed Pervez and A.J. Shamza are names that have contributed to the collective form of Pakistani art based on their individual style, but some others have done so to a greater extent. Khalid Iqbal is one who could be called a maestro in landscape painting, with his local colors and western technique of creating enchanting foreground and depth in the backgrounds thanks to the control of tonalities formed by diffusion shades. He introduced modern realism to Pakistan, which inspired many. Khalid’s presence, first in the Department of Fine Arts and then in the NCA, academically inspired a generation of artists in his parental relationship. His submerged but soft canvases captured different shades of Pakistani land.

Saeed Akhtar, another talented NCA graduate, a competence painter who solved his drawing problems by accepting and applying observations, he encountered while sculpting sculptures; a way to gain the skill of three-dimensional figurative and portrait painting. Realistic and accurate rendering became his mark of respect.

Zakhar al-Ahlak with his philosophical and abstract approach strengthened the conceptual basis of contemporary art in Pakistan and forced NCAs to adopt modern styles and techniques in painting.

The University of Punjab gave Colin David, the most talented and arguably the most controversial student of Anna Molka for many reasons, but the magnificent draftsman of divine linearity he had received. His figurative work revealed his anatomical experience, which allowed him to present Pakistani art with an exaggerated sense of Rubens and Raphael.

Zulkarnain Haider began work as a sequel to Khalid Iqbal, adopting landscape painting in almost a similar style, but gradually Kashmiri’s restless blood accepted the new challenges that nature posed to him in changing light, interfering with branches, and stretched earth; he captured them from foot to point of extinction on the horizon or even beyond.

Ghulam Rasul added stylization to his landscapes and enriched the colors of his paintings. He also used the small hills of Patahara as a gray background behind the lush green fields.

Contrary to the modern realism of Khalid Iqbal and company, Zubeda Javed emerged as a painter with a strong imagination. She is one of those rare Pakistani women painters who have adopted the modern technique of painting landscapes and urban landscapes in a manner that many considered closed to the semi-abstract and impressionistic. With an intuitive color palette and a colorful brush, she has created a unique and aesthetically pleasing display of colors that come from a deep background. Her style of painting encouraged a modern approach to color, composition and light.

English literature inspired Mian Ijaz al-Hassan to think and act in accordance with the new ideologies that were in vogue in the 1970s, his thematic and radical paintings based on communist doctrine disrupting a strong sleep in the upper halls. However, he “red obliquely” dug up the fragile soil of Pakistani land and sowed the seeds of the yellow tree of Labourne (Amaltas); a key symbol of his paintings.

Iqbal Hasian shed light on the burning and rotten problems associated with the celebrity’s place; area of ​​red light. His “Cityscapes” can transport you to the dark alleys and whispers of the walls of the old city, while his portraits of bulky and carefree women look in social commentary to the unaccepted side of society.

On the other hand, Ghulam Mustafa created a labyrinth consisting of narrow and shady paths of the fenced city and lush green mountains of the northern areas, soft pastels on the textured surface of pastel sheets or on well-stretched large areas. of rough canvases with oil paints.

Bashir Ahmed initiated the department of miniature painting at the NCA, which inspired many young painters to adopt this conventional style of painting. Bashir’s desire to restore the tradition of miniature painting has led to modern miniature, which has revolutionized the genre in Pakistan.

With torches in the hands of all of the above, along with them were many others who passed the Pakistani palette to a new generation of painters, moving into the 21st century.