The Enchanting World by Tassaduq Sohail

The Enchanting World
Paintings Exhibition

on Saturday 31 March, 2012 at 6:30 pm
the Exhibition will countinue till 21 April, 2012
Daily 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

Full Circle Gallery
D-53/1, Block 4, Clifton

Colours move in frenzy and figures run amok in the new work from the brush of Tassaduq Sohail. One of Pakistan’s leading painters and wildly original in almost a literal sense of the word, Sohail has been painting for many decades and has evolved a characteristic style with an unmistakable signature, but what is even more important is that he is still capable of surprising his admirers and attracting new ones. He remains unpredictable and provocative, which makes him one of the most enigmatic and creative figures in the contemporary art scene in Pakistan.

The artist’s work, both new and old is the centre of attention at the maiden venture of Full Circle, Karachi, a new art gallery cum happening place set out to open with a bang. What better than Sohail’s work for taking the town by storm? It is anticipated that the reclusive artist himself will make an appearance during the exhibition. “There will be a permanent display of the artist’s work,” fashion designer and the art lover Mrs Iffat Iqbal states, “while there will be a studio room where he will show his new work and also be available to meet friends and art lovers.” She has been diligently following his work as well as collecting it and also, has selected a remarkable paintings from this collection.

Sohail’s old works, drawn from other private collections, will be displayed on a rotational basis so that there will be something to surprise even his most diehard fans.

It is the new work, however, which leaves me breathless with admiration at the spontaneous outflow of his creativity. I realise that some of the paintings he has completed in a remarkable time and with an outburst of almost demonic frenzy.

“I have been painting since two`o clock in the morning,” he says standing before a half-completed painting with not only his fingers, but even his face smudged with colours when I visit him to get a sneak-view of his new work. Birds flutter in and out of the colours and several smaller pieces come together on a crowded canvas to make one painting, which could be a long story or simply the world.

A large canvas depicts the world as it must have been before the advent of man. Rivers, trees and elephants roam the world as fishes fly in the sky from tree to tree. A nude female stands adjacent to a cloaked figure in an enigmatic painting which for some strange reason reminds me of the great Russian classics. A mermaid lifts her head from the water to show a peculiar face and a girl’s head is surrounded with parrots. A blood curdling snake-haired Medusa stands testimony to Sohail’s enduring fascination with witches and Tilismat from the Urdu dastaans. These are counterbalanced by mermaids, curvaceous nudes, parrots and mynahs which complete the imaginative retinue of this great story-teller who paints his stories instead of telling them.

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