Monday, January 11, 2010

Contemporary Painters Of Pakistan...Jamal Shah.

Jamal Shah , painter and actor.
Amongst the many contemporary painters in the Pakistani art scene today , very little information is available both in book form and the net. Many artists are following abstract  form of expression and Jamal Shah is one such painter.He is clearly amongst the pioneer in modern abstract expressionism with a strong  social commentary such as Sadequian. His recent paintings show a clear, colourful, use of leaves, flowers, human figures, cage like figures indicative of various phases of life, both for men and women. domesticated animals such as dogs, buffalo and pigeons are also seen in a form reminiscent of  forced presence.
Frankly there is a passionate almost fearful appeal to freedom amongst the 'Baasi" (dwellers) in his paintings. In many paintings the central darkness potrays the mystery, injustice, utter dejection and hopelessness of the situation or the life of the characters.The sheer headlessness of so many figures proclaims a violent cry for getting the head back in order to complete the beauty of existence and in the social context removing  the injustice of practices of ' Karo Kari', murder of women and suffocation of traditional bondage so prevalent in the rural and many urban areas in Pakistan.
Jamal Shah has a mastery in painting, having trained in Slade School and National College of Arts, Lahore.

The raw energy of suppressed sexual urges and repressed feelings in his subjects  is so pervasive in many of his paintings. I really wish that there are more art researchers and historians in Pakistan who compile this rich heritage and treasure of Pakistani paintings for generations to come.

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