Sunday, October 26, 2014

Local YET global - Adeel-uz-Zafar

Artwallaa believes that the recently opened exhibition ' Stranger Than Fiction' by Adeel Uz Zafar (AUZ) at Gandhara Art Space is local yet completely global in nature. The exhibition is local because it is happening in Pakistan (Karachi) but is truly global in nature in terms of diversity of works, quality of works, curatorial focus, installation of works, the duration of the show, accompanied by a book launch and last but not the least, the presence of the artist himself.

Wet-plate-collodian based work. Source: Gandhara-art

Artwallaa was aware of Mr Zafar's work, but really noticed him through his work in 'The Rising Tide' at the Mohatta Palace Museum in 2010.

You simply can not miss AUZ's works because they draw instant attention. They are very large in size (and hence impact), are usually monochrome (and hence unusual), appear to borrow from familiar natural or fictional characters (and hence affect natural attraction), the bandages make you wonder what the underlying message is and they draw you in because of one's curiosity towards the medium of work.

Once you get close to the work, you are intrigued by the technique and the material used (engraved drawing on plastic vinyl), and by the flawless execution of the technique. Amongst a lot of others, Artwallaa was also not able to avoid these 'temptations' and has enjoyed this series since then.

At the back of my mind, however, was always this question; what will AUZ do next. He cannot keep on doing this series alone (regardless of how enjoyable each of these works are). In the past twelve months, Artwallaa has found multiple answers to those too. AUZ has come up with new series in etching prints, wet-plate-collodian based images and the latest introduction of 3D works. The current exhibition seems culmination of the past two years of this journey of discovery.

Blossom, Painted Fiberglass, 66.04 x 53.34 x17.78 cm, 26 x 21 x 7 in.
Source: Gandhara-art

Artwallaa credits Mr Zafar of bringing pop culture into the Pakistan visual art vocabulary and using them in different mediums. according to trhe artist himself, "Stranger than fiction features a selection of seminal anthropomorphic characters known around the world for their incredible feats and heroic actions. The imagined content is not necessarily based on facts, but it contemplates and interrogates society, politics, philosophy, life and adventure. It highlights the hopes, frustrations, dreams and
disclosure from some of the living experiences of everyday life".

The use of Powerpuff girls in vinyl and also in fibreglass emphasises on feminine issues as well power. Artwallaa assumes Mr AUZ is also a tribute to the ever-increasing list of achievements of Pakistani women (including the Nobel Prize, the Oscars, The Emmys and the Asia Cricket World Cup; and not to forget the powerpuff girls of visual arts - Shahzia Sikander, Aisha Khalid, Naiza Khan and so many others).

Go Pakistani Women ! Go Pakistan Art ! *

Your 'Go Go'


* these terms should not be misconstrued for the terms used repeatedly in the political apace in Pakistan. To avoid any doubt, the above terms definitely have positive connotations attached to them !

Saturday, October 25, 2014

International exhibitions of Pakistan art are NOT news anymore; but that IS good NEWS.

According to Oxford Dictionary, the definition of 'news' is, 'newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent or important events'. If that particular incident starts to happen regularly, it stops being 'news'.

The most relevant (though inconvenient) example will be the brown-outs (load-shedding of electricity) in Pakistan. When this cycle of brown-outs started in 2007-08, it was headline news. Now it is not see as 'noteworthy information'.

Putting it in the context of Pakistan art; until a few years (months?) ago, an international exhibition of Pakistan art used to be 'news' as Pakistan art was hardly shown internationally. This has changed significantly to an extent where Artwallaa believes that international exhibitions of Pakistan art, in itself, are not news anymore.

Gone are the days when Pakistan art was promoted internationally by a few dedicated platforms like Green Cardamom, Gandhara-art and Aicon representing a handful of artists. Pakistan art is now being shown regularly outside Pakistan, by a much broader spectrum of art-promoting platforms who are representing a much wider and diverse artist base.

Internationalisation of Pakistan art is now entering its second phase. It has not been an easy ride, it still is not and is not likely to be in future too. But the 'movement' is gathering pace, the trajectory is surely positive and the 'product' is definitely creative and exciting.

To prove our point, as we write this blog, there are at least 10 good Pakistani art based exhibitions/shows either currently already on display or are being planned around the world. These are on top of the works shown in art-fairs (like at The Frieze) and Artwallaa has surely missed a few other exhibitions (if we have, please let us know and we will add to the list)

Important exhibitions of Pakistan Art - September-October, 2014:
  • Toronto: Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, September 18 2014 - January 18, 2015

    • The artists presented are Bani Abidi, Nurhajan Akhlaque, David Alesworth, Aisha Khalid, Atif Khan and Imran Qureshi

  • Paris: Imran Qureshi: Nuit Blanc, Paris, Saturday, 4 October 2014
  • London: Present Re-inventions,  October 11 – October 27, 2014, Grosvenor Gallery
    • The artists presented are Irfan Hasan, Muzzumil Ruheel and Muhammad Zeeshan.
  • Hong Kong: The Importance of Staying Quiet, October 4 – November 3, 2014,  Yallay Gallery
    • The artists presented are Anwar Jalal Shemza, Zahoor ul Akhlaq, Lala Rukh, Rashid Rana, Hamra Abbas, Sara Salman, Ali Kazim, Ayesha Jatoi, Fahd Burki and Iqra Tanveer. 
  • Gwangju, Korea - Gwangju biennale - Huma Mulji, September 5 - November 9, 2014
  •  New Dehli: Alif, Mohammad Ali Talpur, October 12 – November 10, 2014, Latitude 28
  • New York: Ethereal, October 23 - December 13, 2014, Leila Heller Gallery
    • The artists presented are Faiza Butt, Noor Ali, Ali Kazim, Rashid Rana, Irfan Hasan, SairaWaseem, Mohammad Ali Talpur
  • Karachi: Stranger Than Fiction - Adeel Uz Zafar, October 21 - December 5, 2014 
  • San Antonio: 'Parallax', Shahzia Sikander, October, 2014
  • Michigan: {Dis}Comfort Zones, Anilla Quayyum Agha, October 2014, Grand Rapids Art Museum, October


Toronto: Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, September 18 2014 - January 18, 2015

    • The artists presented are Bani Abidi, Nurhajan Akhlaque, David Alesworth, Aisha Khalid, Atif Khan and Imran Qureshi

'Your way begins on the other side' 2014 by Aisha Khalid (Reverse View). — at Aga Khan Museum [Fan Page].

Paris: Imran Qureshi: Nuit Blanc, Paris, Saturday, 4 October 2014

'And they still seek traces of blood' 2014, Site Specific Installation at Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève (BSG) on October 4th, 2014 for Nuit Blanche - Imran Qureshi — at Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève (BSG). Source: Gandhara-art

more blog ideas

Top Pakistan art in 2013 based on prices achieved
Pakistan's top exhibitions in 2012 - local and global - out now
Pakistan's top exhibitions in 2013 - local and global - out in March 2014

Top 10 art works of Pakistani artists with highest prices ever

Top 10 museums of the world (do an aggregate from a few sources like geographic national, reuters, guardian, etc and add comments)

The rise and rise of Imran Qureshi - What's common between Bill Gates and Imran Qureshi - Malcolm Gladwell

 Collect data on pakistan artists exhibiting outside pakistan in 2012 and 2013.

Develop a pakistan artist price indiex

Staking the claim, back home - Shahzia Sikander

Top ten art fairs I the world

Top art biennales in the world

Rooftop and celebrities

Arts and Literature Festival - Lahore - Nov 2013

Do a chart  showing which artists are at what levels

Pakistan Arts - 2013-2014 : show how much has been achieved ..... Oscar, emmy, Imran Q, Anila Quayyum, Naiza's award, Agha Khan,
LLF, KLF, Isld Literary Festival, ArtNow, ..............  Pakistan Arts is back !

Sunday, October 19, 2014

YET another title for Pakistan - YET another confirmation of the upward momentum of Pakistan visual arts

Last week, Pakistan art world received yet another award from the global art fraternity. Anila Quayyum Agha, an NCA alum, was the winner of both the juried as well as the public vote of the Michigan based ArtPrize2014.

Apart from taking home $300,000 in prize money, Ms Agha was the fist winner in the award's history to have won both public (whose votes decide the award) and the art experts (the jury).

Another feather in the cap of Pakistan Visual Arts and another confirmation of the depth as well as breadth of this movement.  

Artwallaa finds this work exceptionally pleasing to the eye and have therefore added two articles with a lot of images.

Your -  enjoying the 'gorgeous sculpture'


PS: To know more on why Artwallaa believes that the Pakistan visual art scene is in an irreversible upward pattern, read the following articles:  

Anila Quayyum Agha's "Intersections" at the Grand Rapids Art Museum (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic)
Anila Quayyum Agha’s “Intersections” at the Grand Rapids Art Museum (photo by Hrag Vartanian for Hyperallergic)


Anila Quayyum Agha with her ArtPrize entry “Intersections.”
Anila Quayyum Agha with her ArtPrize entry “Intersections.”(Photo: AP )
This Gorgeous Sculpture Creates Instant Architecture in an Empty Room
By Kristin Hohenadel    
Source: The Eye  
Intersections by Pakistan-born Anila Quayyum Agha on display at the Grand Rapids Art Museum earlier this month.
Courtesy of the Grand Rapids Art Museum

Held annually since 2009 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, ArtPrize is a democratic art competition open to anyone in the world over age 18, with generous cash prizes awarded by both a jury of experts and popular vote. For the first time, a single work—Intersections by Pakistan-born Anila Quayyum Agha—took this year’s public and juried grand prizes for a total of $300,000.
Agha’s stunning piece is an obvious crowd-pleaser, a 6½-foot square laser-cut, black lacquer wood cube suspended from the ceiling and lit with a single light bulb that casts breathtaking 32-feet by 34-feet shadows to create instant architecture in an otherwise empty room.
Courtesy of ArtPrize

Monday, October 6, 2014

Waqas Khan - keep him on your radar !

This artist, Waqas Khan, is worth keeping on your radar.

The pakistani miniature artist Waqas Khan returns to Sabrina Amrani Gallery, two years after his debut in Europe in the same space. These two years have been intense for the artist: He has exhibited in the most prestigious art fairs such as Art Basel, FIAC, Frieze London, Art Basel Hong Kong, Art Dubai, India Art Fair, Art Basel Miami and Art14 London; shown his work in multiple group shows in Vienna, New Delhi, Innsbruck, Madrid, Kraitchal, Kazan and Moscow; and he was shortlisted for the Jameel Prize 3. Furthermore, his work is now part of the permanent collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Sikander's animated 'Parallax' gets U.S. premiere in San Antonio

September 30, 2014           

The multichannel video work, a recent acquisition by the foundation, deals with global politics by focusing on the strategically crucial Strait of Hormuz, often called a “choke point” through which about 20 percent of the world's petroleum flows.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

What IS Art? New York artist creates 'art' that is invisible and collectors are paying millions

Read the article, listen to the audio and only after that read the other articles through the links. It will surely entertain you. The relevant question though still remains, 'What IS Art'?

Enjoy !



New York artist creates 'art' that is invisible and collectors are paying millions

Source: cbc
Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Art enthusiasts admire Newstrom's paintings and sculptures at the Schulberg Gallery in New York. (Nick Fabin/Adriano Castelli /       
Art enthusiasts admire Newstrom's paintings and sculptures at the Schulberg Gallery in New York. (Nick Fabin/Adriano Castelli /
27-year-old artist Lana Newstrom says she is the first artist in the world to create invisible "art."  In this documentary we traveled to her empty studio to learn more about Lana and her unusual  artistic process. "Just because you can't see anything, doesn't mean I didn't put hours of work into creating a particular piece" Lana Newstrom, Artist.
"Art is about imagination and that is what my work demands of the people interacting with it. You have to imagine a painting or sculpture is in front of you," says Newstrom. 

Paul Rooney, Lana's agent, believes she might be the greatest artist alive working today: "When she describes what you can't see, you begin to realize why one of her invisible works can fetch upwards of a million dollars." said Rooney.

Listen to learn more about Lana Newstrom and her invisible art. Listen

Read the below articles only after you have listened to the interview:

Jonathan Jones on Art - The Guardian
New York Artist Lana Newstrom