All the colours of the Spectrum

Lifestyle Sunday 25/March/2018 18:28 PM
By: Times News Service
All the colours of the Spectrum

An ethereal ray of blue illuminates the signature painting for Spectrum, a beautiful new exhibition of Contemporary Art from Pakistan, which opens at the Omani Society for Fine Arts on April 2nd, 2018 under the patronage of Dr Fuad bin Jaafar Al Sajwani.
The softshaft of blue light drifts from the centre of the painting through violet mists that fade seamlessly into a translucent cloud of green. This sets the scene for a tangled symphony of branches with leaves in autumn orange, burgundy red and amber yellow. The branches reach across the surface of the canvas and flow into its depths. A small bird with a bright orange breast sits on a branch at the centre of the painting from which it looks at something we cannot see.
The creator of this autumn scene that seems like spring is Muhammad Arshad Khan, a painter, sculptor and social worker. Steeped in the beauty and truth of nature, his artistic work articulates an idealism that also inspires his efforts to ameliorate social problems and address the great dangers of our times, especially terrorism.
The exhibition encompasses more than seventy-five works by 16 artists, the majority of whom represent a new generation of artists who are passionate about art, not only as an aesthetic medium, but also as a way of improving our daily lives and contributing to a better world. In the same spirit, proceeds from the exhibition will be used to support the Oman Autism Society.
Abid Khan, who speaks of the power of nature as an underlying truth in the context of poverty, war and materialism, remarks, “My inspiration comes from the forgotten and sacred natural environment on which we turn our backs in the modern, materialistic age of television, computers and video games. From a chilly, misty morning blanketed with snow, to a warm, bright field, my work is a fresh, clean slate for the eye.”
Four other nature-oriented painters, Muhammad Arshad, Raja Najam Ul Hassan, Sana Nezam, and Muhmmad Ibrahim fill the gallery with breathtakingly lovely scenes of fields, flowers, and trees, often in brilliant Fauvist colours, and sometimes with immaculate attention to realistic details.
The art of calligraphy is powerfully represented by five artists – Aamir Kamal, Bin Qullander, MA Bukari, Munib Ali, and Zulfqarnain, each of whom presents a unique contemporary interpretation of this time-honoured religious endeavour. For example, Bin Qullander, one of the new trend-setters in Islamic Art, renders the letters in his paintings as if they were sculptures wrought from music. Son of a Sufi sage, Bin Qullander, has been described as ‘gratifying deep spiritual beliefs by stirring up aesthetic sensibilities’. The crescendos of colour in the exhibition culminate in stunning Expressionist canvasses by Dr Khallid Mahmood. A tree gives birth to raging flames of yellow, blue, orange, and indigo. A sunset sails above a slice of the earth revealing strata of compacted green grass, firm white snow, and fired stone in variegated yellow, burnt rust, and dark red.
And there are contrasts, as in the work of K. Mahmood who takes a different approach to the accentuation of colour by shining it on small human figures in moody architectural tableaus of black, white, and grey.
Spectrum is one of the most exciting and important art exhibitions to come to Muscat from abroad in several years. It continues at the Omani Society for Fine Arts in Shatti until the 12th of April 2018 and is open weekdays from 10:00am to 1:00pm and from 5:00pm to 8:00pm.
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