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Sadequain’s unseen artwork put on display

May 17, 2016
 
By Yusra Jabeen KARACHI: A few months and 29 years have passed since Pakistan lost one of its most decorated artists, the “painter of the dustbin, of the gutter”, in his own words. Sadequain, also known as an artist of the poor, was remembered in a private gathering of art and poetry enthusiasts at a...



By Yusra Jabeen

KARACHI: A few months and 29 years have passed since Pakistan lost one of its most decorated artists, the “painter of the dustbin, of the gutter”, in his own words.

Sadequain, also known as an artist of the poor, was remembered in a private gathering of art and poetry enthusiasts at a hotel in Karachi Monday evening.

Some 31 unseen portraits, canvassed by Sadequain between 1942 and 1986, were put on display for art lovers, 22 of which depicted his family and loved ones. The collection, titled Sadequain in Intimate Moments, consisted of artwork that had never been exhibited before, Sultan Ahmed Naqvi, Sadequain’s nephew said.

Sultan Ahmed’s son, Sibtain Naqvi said Sadequain was an artist of the poor. “Sometimes, when he was invited as a chief guest to an event, he would tell one of the members of his help to go forward. “You are today’s chief guest,” he would say,” Sibtain told Samaa.

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Sadequain turned down many invitations and awards from people in power. “Instead, he decorated those that worked laboriously, like Lakshmi who earned a simple living by making beds at Jinnah hospital,” Sibtain said. “Sadequain painted for his muse, or to give it away,” he added.

“Art used to be discussed through newspapers as there was no social media back in the day. There was a dialogue happening which took art from private to the public domain,” Sibtain added, saying people in the media today need to dedicate more time and space to art.

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“Art nowadays has become very elitist, people say. [This exhibition is an effort to] take Sadequain outside our drawing rooms and make it accessible,” Sibtain said.

A limited-edition book called ‘Cobweb World of Sadequain’ was also launched at the event. It contains many of Sadequain’s poignant art and poetry, “manifestations of his creative genius and deeply connected”.

“Sadequain died before he could finish painting the ceiling of Frere Hall in Karachi. And I don’t think it can ever be completed,” another nephew of Sadequain said, meditatively. – SAMAA
 
 
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