In the last decade, the advent of multifunctional art galleries, upcoming artists, inspiring biennials across cities in Pakistan, cross cultural leaps into other global art shows and curatorial splendour has made Karachi into a nucleus of the ‘art scene’ while literature remains at the helm of the great historical city of Lahore. In this feature, Edition has visited and explored the great exhibitions going on at various galleries and selected for you those that should not be missed!
VM Art Gallery A maestro exhibition will be put up at the VM Art Gallery curated by Wahab Jaffer, namely Father Figure: South Asian Art through the Eyes of Wahab Jaffer on the 24 th January at 5 pm. The show comes to Karachi after being shown at Asia House in London in October 2019. The exhibition brings together the art collection of the celebrated Pakistani abstract artist and patron, Wahab Jaffer, alongside those of his own works inspired by the artists he supported and befriended: the exhibition features works by some 20 artists from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. Examining the artistic history of Pakistan and further South Asia, the exhibition asks of the viewer to consider the nature of the relationship between the collector and the artist – the latter in this case being Wahab Jaffar. This exhibition will be top of our list to visit as it opens to the public at the prestigious VM Art Gallery, showcasing some of South Asia’s most reputed greatest maestros, namely: Tassaduq Sohail, Salima Hashmi, Zainul Abedin, Ahmed Pervez, Ali Imam and Bashir Mirza. All art collectors, aficionados must come hither to see the rare show of collection! The exhibition will be open till the 22nd of February at the VM Art Gallery (ZVMG Rangoonwala Community Center Plot #4/5, BI-4, KDA Scheme #7, Karachi)
Canvas Gallery Lahore based artist Aroosa Rana is showcasing a solo exhibition at the Canvas Gallery which opened on the 7th January, titled, ‘View Within’. The works on display are video installations aimed to provide a narrative on the digital advancement in our world today, the relationship and responsibility of the artist to respond to these changes in their oeuvre. At the same time, there is a constant conflict of virtual reality versus reality as we know it, a concept that we as the new generation have become oblivious to with the increased use of social media, smart phones – information running through and instructed on our finger tips. Rana questions the age old notion of the conflict between fact and fiction – in the thought provoking new series of works displayed at her solo show, she tries to unravel the post – digitally advanced age through her videography of news scenes, videos which show static objections and moving objects – mostly humans in still and technology in movement – mimicking our age. Perhaps even hinting at a lack of human connection, physically, by touch and allowing the viewers to realise in a medium they have become most familiar with – screens, how arbitrary the distance of a creation occurring in real time is even at a separation from its own creator. The medium strongly evokes the message Rana is trying to convey in her works and the micro nuances and subtleties in the work show how perhaps we are oblivious to small movements, achievements and pausing to understand the finer smaller achievements and occurrences in our lives today. The exhibits change weekly and are held at the Canvas Gallery, (D-40/1, Kehkashan Block 4, Clifton, 75600, Karachi.)
Full Circle Gallery On display at the Full Circle Gallery is usually an interesting and unorthodox curation of complex themes and ideas developed by an wide array of artists – both experienced in their practises and new additions who have graduated from local universities all over Pakistan. The blend of thoughts and views has always drawn us to visit the gallery and the interesting curation. Currently on display and not to be missed, team edition explored the ongoing group show titled ‘Animals’ – based on George Orwell’s classic novel – Animal Farm. The hierarchy described in the book on the status and roles of the animals, namely the pig, the dog and the sheep. The curation of the show was in the works for over three years by Babar Moghal, himself an artist whose work has also been displayed in the group show. He mentions that he had given a certain narrative for all artists and had to filter and select those who prescribed to taking the notion of the work in a more interpretative manner and not literal. The other artists on display are Amna Suheyl, Fatima Baig, Komal Shahid Khan, Maham Siddiqui, Mazhar Qureshi, Paul Mehdi Rizvi, Rimsha Talput and Zahra Asim – a true blend of old and new talent from all over the country. The exhibition is meant to showcase a cynical view of humanity and social hierarchy as described in the animal farm – a relatable theme in our country and throughout the world with dominating powers, abuse of power and governance and other social plagues. The exhibition is on display at the Full Circle Gallery from 11:30 am to 7:30 pm, (D-53/1, 1st Street, Block 4 Clifton, Karachi)
Koel Gallery Opening on the 21 st of January at the Koel Gallery is a solo show by artist Ayessha Quraishi, curated by the talented Zarmeene Shah, ‘Between Light’ is a major mid – career retrospective of Quraishi’s prolific (and ongoing) artistic practise spanning 35 years – from 1985 to 2020. Ayessha Quraishi did not attend art school formally and has been a self taught painter based in Karachi, she received her basic artistic training from Nayyar Jamil and has since then been working on the development of her unique technique and use of visual language. Being a prominent artist, her work has been shown several times both locally and internationally – she was part of the International Istanbul Biennial in 2019 and both Karachi Biennales. The exhibition is open at Koel Gallery until the 2nd of February
Art One 62 The exhibition opened on the 14 th of January, titled ‘Tafzeel’ and showcases the works of talented artists Ahmed Zoey, Akram Spaul, Changez Sultan, Faheem Ahmed, Ghali Baqar, Laila Shahzada, Mashkoor Raza, Najmi Sura, Wahab Jafar, Waseem Ahmed and Zulfiqar Ali Zulfi – a mix of talented artists both new and experienced curated exquisitely by Mehreen Hashmi. This is not an exhibition to be missed! The show is open until the 18 th January from 11 am to 8 pm (D-62, Block 4, Clifton, Karachi – the work on display can be seen on Artone62’s Instagram page.
Alliance Francais de Karachi The Alliance has been hosting to numerous art nights, exhibitions, French cine clubs, and hosts even some sport activities – (and is also holding classes for girls boxing!). On the 24 th , Alliance Francais de Karachi is hosting an exhibition in their main gallery of paintings and other works of art made by members of the Deaf Reach organisation – the proceeds of which will go to their organisation and the families of the members. In the past it has also hosted some exhibitions of works of Karachi Central Jail inmates – an interesting insight into their thoughts and visions. The exhibition will only be on for one day (24 th January) at (D-53/1, 1st Street, Block 4 Clifton, Karachi).