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A scintillating merger
By Nadeem Zaidi
Abrar Ahmad’s luxuriant fusion of traditional and contemporary work displayed in his 10th solo exhibition in Islamabad at Nomad Art Gallery beguiled the art connoisseurs to women’s world of pensive moods and contemplative moments. About thirty-five of his paintings on display done in bright and bold colours carry the touch of vibrant inspiration and influences from both the Bengal school and Chughtai--- making a bold statement that is very much Abrar’s own distinct style of immortalising women.
The blend of different traditions included consciously by the artist adds to create an atmosphere of richness, making his paintings a scintillating merger of both traditional and contemporary style. The artist remains extremely successful in capturing the expressions reflecting many moods of women in each painting that betrays pathos even with all their rich adornments.
Apart from exhibiting his works in Pakistan, Abrar has also travelled beyond the borders holding successful exhibitions in Dubai, London, India, and Hong Kong. A self taught artist, Abrar has been painting for about twenty-five years now. He has grown immensely as an artist and its no wonder that his paintings were sold out even before the opening of his exhibitions.
His subject matter however is still restricted to women, heavily adorned with jewellery in an attempt to show dissatisfaction of the soul despite the wealth and luxury of modern living. The idea of a rootless and alienated existence is projected through the sorrowful expressions of his female figures, reflecting his view of today's estranged urban lifestyle.
Abrar portrays the realities in a woman’s life with enriching expression of anguish and longing that all the wealth and adornments cannot hide. After all, happiness can not be bought with luxuries, and the quest of love continues to overwhelm the magnitude of opulence. A true artist, Abrar has managed to capture on his canvas the enigma of desire and dreams challenging the material possessions and affluence.