Mohammad Yousuf’s latest watercolour paintings exhibition opening 28 May to 6 June 2012 at Sadequain Gallery narrate a story from the forests of England as he has titled his landscapes “An English Forest.” An excellent spot painter, Yousuf belongs to a group of artists who lived in late seventies and early eighties and were known for spot painting. Yousuf would leave his home in early morning with paints and easels and head towards fisheries, and shores of the Arabian seas or in the green field of Malir. Children would gather around him and adults looked at him with smiles; but the artist would remain engaged in translating nature on his canvas. Besides other members of the group, Yousuf made a name in watercolour spot painting.
“An English Forest” is a turning point in Yousuf’s art practice. These landscapes are not spot paintings; their inspirational source is photographs published in book form by a well known European photographer. On these canvases one finds an element of Yousuf’s imagination at play. His short dab-like strokes add a tinge of surrealism to his work.
Yousuf started exhibiting his works from 1984 onwards. He has participated in exhibitions held in Pakistan and abroad. His works were well received in Seoul, Korea, Taiwan, China and Malaysia. With almost forty years experience in watercolour painting, Yousuf is a recognized name in the genre in Pakistan.
His solo exhibition at the Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi in 2002 earned him an individual status amongst the watercolour painters of Pakistan as he deviated from usual seascapes and boats and fisheries and focused his work on Cactus. He chose the thorny plant to paint with the fragile medium of watercolour. He successfully combined the object and his medium on his canvases. His sensitivity to his medium was evident in his paintings. Later his other show at the same venue was a retrospection of his life long passion. This show included seascapes, boats, ships, some paintings from his cactus collection and fisheries. All these were a verdict on his skillful handling of his medium and subject.