Thursday, November 5, 2009

Abdul Rahim Nagori - - Painter Known For His Socio-political Themes

Born in 1939, and having passion for art since his childhood done his B.A. (Hon), Fine Arts (Painting), M.A. Fine Arts (Painting) from University of the Punjab, Lahore during 1961 to 1965.

Professor A.R. Nagori pioneered Socio-Political Art in Pakistan. Solo exhibitions since 1958. Paintings sold, auctioned & selected at various international art galleries, auction houses and museums including Asia House, Sotheby's, Bonham and Asia Pacific Museum, Pasadena, USA.

Professor Nagori established Fina Arts Department of Sindh University in 1970 and remained head of department for many years.

Nagori is a scholastic man, well-versed in eastern history and philosophy. A veteran of art exhibitions, his work resonates with symbols that refer to ancients myths and legends. He Introduced to articulate protest against injustice and cruelty of man to his fellow beings, tempered with a mood of sardonic observation. Nagori's art is directed towards raising serious socio-political issues, while retaining pictorial and aesthetic values.

As the first and most radical socio-political artist in Pakistan, Nagori took a Masters in Fine Art from Department of Fine Arts of University of Punjab in 1965. There he trained as muralist; but
from 1980s, for economic reasons, he painted on small scaled canvases expressing in colours of brilliant vibrancy personal outrage at society and the world around him.

Though never intended to please or decorate walls, the beatuy of sensual textures and adept simplification of form were as inherent a factor in Nagori's work as his uncompromising statements rich with meanings. His exhibitions at the Indus Galleries in 1980 made history in art.

In 1986, Nagori 'shook the conscience of the nation' with his portrayal of the hardships suffered by the country's rural population.

In 1988, he evolved new symbols of alphabet based on shocking events; guns, heroin, crime and robberies.

In Nagori's work, viewer finds laughter and tears; his biting wit was irresistible as was the sincerity of his feelings for the people without recourse. In a mellow mood he painted idyllic memories of his children in their early years, and spoke of his student life in Lahore.

Trained by mentors who had no interest in commercial aspects of art, he maintains lasting respect for Anna Molka Ahmed, Khalid Iqbal and Shakir Ali. Recalling an early exhibition in Lahore, when someone commiserated on the lack of sales, he related: "It was extremely successful, Moyene Najmi bought a painting".

Today, he has emerged from the yellow and the ochre, only to plunge into the blue and the red. His blue is agonizingly serene, and his red tantalizingly dramatic. His canvases continue to be as disturbing as ever.

With a touch of Modigliani and a whiff from Ajanta Caves, Nagori follows Al-Ghazali, who in contradistinction to the Greeks' perception of sensual beauty, holds that a sixth sense, a sort of super sense, is responsible for the appreciation of beauty. Every great painter, every great artist and every lover of beauty possesses this sixth sense in its fullest degree which is the source not only of creation, but also of appreciation..."

"...His blue dips its fingers into green and his red burrows its head under mystery and suspense and drama, Nagori is about to discover himself, or maybe, discover the futility of his spiritual voyage."

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