12 April, 2021

Very Sweet Medina

A Pakistan in ferment reveals itself at a London exhibition

Very Sweet Medina

IF auction houses like Sotheby’s and Bonhams are now casting their eyes on art from Pakistan, it’s no surprise. Running the full gamut from modernism to installation art, the exhibition ‘Pakistan: Another Vision’ at London’s Brunei Gallery affords a rare glimpse into the inner ferment and defiant ebullience of Pakistani society today.

The large and ambitious show, curated by Timothy Wilcox and organised by Asia House and the Arts & the Islamic World journal, will travel to various galleries in the UK till November 8. The 100 works-from 1950 to the present-delineate the enormous distance Pakistani art’s traversed. The works of Abdur Rahman Chughtai, who began painting much before Independence, were seen as a foundation for much that came later. But even in 1955, his watercolours like An Eastern Princess or A Poet with Songbirds didn’t even remotely address the new nation’s tumultuous reality. As against this, the recent works of Akram Dost (born 1958) have tormented figures in ‘nude’ or ‘couple’, capturing the...

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