Old masters and new voices to blend in a flurry of colour
By Anjum Gill
LAHORE: Alhamra Art Gallery will be flush with colour from November 23 to December 5 as it displays works by five South Asian masters and young contemporary artists.
The painting exhibition, titled ‘Living legends, old masters and new voices’, will illustrate the development of art in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
The five million rupee exhibition, organised by Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi’s taskforce, will feature legendary masters MF Hussain and Krishan Khanna from India, Kibria from Bangladesh, HA Karunaratne from Sri Lanka, Shahsi Bikram Shah from Nepal, Gulgee, Shahid Sajjad and Khalid Iqbal from Pakistan.
The veteran masters, who will be present besides their paintings, will be paired with young contemporary artists. At least six of these young artists will be from Pakistan.
Exhibits from each of the participating countries have been selected by their own curators. The selections for Pakistan were made by Salima Hashmi, Porf Ijazul Hassan and Lala Rukh.
Ms Hashmi, Puja Sood and a curator from each participating country will work together on the display of the paintings.
Rs 4 million have been given to Alhamra Arts Council to complete the renovation of its galleries and Hall-11 before the exhibition. The building’s original architect, Nayyer Ali Dada, has promised to finish renovation work in a month.
Authorities have been told to install new lights in the galleries. The existing light fixtures, installed at a cost of Rs 86,000 during an earlier exhibition by the wife of the Russian ambassador will be scrapped.
The renovation funds are being donated by the task force (Rs 1 million), the Punjab government (Rs 1.5 million) and private sponsorship (Rs 1.5 million).
The task force has been encouraging Lahore’s leading art galleries to hold supplementary exhibitions to feature works by young South Asian artists, but has declined to provide financial backing for them.
As a result, sources said, the art galleries have given a “cold shoulder” and “will display works only by local artists as the main exhibition continues at Alhamra”.
The task force has published a map of Lahore highlighting the locations of private galleries. Local art students have been told to usher guests at the exhibition.
Muslim Commercial Bank (MCB) is sponsoring the show with Rs 3.5 million while Exide Pakistan and Uch Power Limited are fronting Rs 1.5 million each. Pakistan International Airlines will be responsible for flying in the artists and their works.