Saigol’s ‘Equus Quagga’ opens in city | Pakistan Today

Saigol’s ‘Equus Quagga’ opens in city

Khaas Art Gallery (KAG) opened a bold solo exhibition titled ‘Equus Quagga’ featuring works of veteran artist Shakil Saigol here on Thursday for the art lovers of the twin cities. Karachi-based Saigol presented as many as 15 of his art pieces using the medium of gouache, water colour and charcoal on arches paper and oil on canvas, gold leaf and net on canvas.
Saigol through his paintings has tried to weave a tapestry of a surreal world, an escape from the mundane one in an enigmatic way.
Saigol’s work has always attracted art lovers with his work. It is Saigol’s first solo exhibition in the federal capital in which a strong sentiment exists behind the sensitive, fluid marks that form his paintings.
Talking to Pakistan Today, Saigol said, “I obviously belong to a different generation and often find myself out of sync with some younger artists. The work of Dali, Hockney and Rousseau were imbibed and they got infused in my subconscious in the 1960s and I grew up with the distinct idea that primarily the most essential aspect of a work of art pre-supposes accurate draftsmanship”.
He maintained once the initial sketch was perfected it could be translated and expressed differently through line, mass, design, harmony and perspective and the desired emotion or aesthetic feeling could be expressed through form.
“All art is essentially visual. The artist conveys a subjective experience and the viewer is the recipient of this experience. This two-way dialogue is essential to any art. However, retaining a certain ambiguity is desirable in order to engage the viewer in this dialogue”, saigol said.
He said the painter after having expressed his emotion in aesthetic form must leave it to the viewer to interpret the work independently rather than feeding the viewer with “preconceived notions.” “I therefore feel and have expressed this belief earlier that the painter should say as little as possible about his work. After all, he has already said whatever he needed through his chosen medium”, he maintained.
Saigol said he had always treated charcoal as a medium for the initial sketch of a painting.
He said that medium was exiting and rejuvenating. “I often think that the ability to learn something new in one’s twilight years is one of God’s choicest blessings”, Saigol observed.
Belonging to a family of pioneering industrialists, who had migrated to Pakistan after the Partition, Mohammed Shakil Saigol graduated in Fine Arts with distinction from the Government College Lahore.
He unveiled his work for the first time at a solo show in Lahore in 1991, at 47. His solo exhibition at the Abrash Air Gallery London in October 1999 was also a big success. His Jamavar shawl paintings are a deeply moving body of work on Afghanistan—“the land God forgot” as he put it. Shakil Saigol’s paintings can be seen in various exhibitions and collections in Pakistan and abroad. His other solo exhibitions were held at Private World Lahore Art Gallery Lahore in 1991, Chawkandi Art Gallery Karachi in 1995 and Sursundari Canvas Gallery Karachi in 2004. He has also participated in group exhibitions such as 7th National Exhibition of Visual Arts PNCA Islamabad in 1996, Triennale Sharjah Museum Sharjah in 2001, Uraan Exhibition at Gulgee Museum Karachi in 2002 and National Art Exhibition Lahore in 2003.

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