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Muhammad Ramazan, the gallery owner, said that the exhibits included some of the finest work from his personal collection

LAHORE: A paintings exhibition, containing works  of 10 of the most renowned artists of Pakistan, started at the Ejaz Gallery on Thursday.

The exhibition, which will continue till September 23, features works of Saeed Akhtar, Jamil Naqsh, Ahmed Khan and two or more paintings each by late Ismail Gulgee, Sadequain, Colin David, Allah Bakhsh, Abdur Rahman Chughtai, Anwar Jelal Shemza and Askari Mian Irani.

Muhammad Ramazan, the gallery owner, told The Express Tribunethat the exhibits included some of the finest work from his personal collection.

“I purchased some pieces from galleries and acquired others through close association with the artists themselves,” he said.

He said the exhibition aimed at paying homage to some of the best painters Pakistan had produced.

Bakhsh’s mixed media painting is priced at Rs5.5 million, one of the two most expensive paintings at the exhibition.

Asad Faruki, a professor at the National College of Arts, who counts Collin David, and Askari Mian Irani among his instructors at the NCA was particularly impressed with a landscape by Allah Bakhsh. He said it outshone his other works.

Art teacher and critic Qudoos Mirza found the works of Chughtai, Shemza and Naqsh most inspiring.

Seven of Naqsh’s paintings are on display, one of them priced at Rs5.5 million. Akhtar, Gulgee and Askari have some brilliant pieces. Gulgee has seven calligraphy pieces, priced between Rs0.75 million and Rs1.5 million. His work attracted the most attention by the visitors.

Uzma Haroon, an NCA student, said art students heard these names at college daily. “While their (artists’) best work might not be on display today, whatever is, it definitely makes a statement about the skills these artists are famous for,” she said.

Three paintings by David feature two nudes and a lush landscape.

Dr Khalid Mehmood, a painter since 1964, who has started a PhD programme in studio practice and art history at Punjab University’s Art and Design Department, was in awe of the exhibit.

“These are rare pieces. It is obvious that the most outstanding feature of the exhibition is having 10 of the best artists in a single exhibition,” he said. Mehmood also appreciated the works of Naqsh, David and Chughtai.

Chughtai, he said, was a master at combining Indian, Persian and the Buddhist influences.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 14th, 2012.

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