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mansoor rahiISLAMABAD: An exhibition of exquisite paintings by eminent artist Mansoor Rahi has been continuing here at Gallery6 till May 14 featuring the title "Rahi's New Road".

Rahi's paintings and charcoal drawings have displayed a merge between his previous style of cubism with new simplified intuitive strokes that flow continuously and freely from end to end.

His works reveal human and animal forms that have been broken up, analyzed and re-assembled in an abstract form. These additional spontaneous and long strokes provide the abstract forms with a strong dynamic element and give the illusion of the subject to be in motion.

Rahi's paintings not only create a mood of innovating new forms and illusion of values but also open a vision of free expression with spontaneous use of brush strokes. It makes a change of vision by entering into classical realism from the non-evoc ative abstraction.

While viewing Rahi's work one is struck by the prevalent dichotomy. Conventionality as well as non-conformity to Cubism coexists within his artworks.

In Rahi's work the subject is easily perceived, therefore the intellectual process begins after its recognition, unless his intention is based on a purely visual aesthetic.

Rahi's paintings and drawings depict abstraction yet the visual imagery remains representational, which marks another difference between his early work in Karachi and his later work in Islamabad. Such dissimilarities are amalgamated through an essence of Cubism that runs through his entire body of work, creating interplay of opposites.

Cubism was a major and highly significant 20th Century art movement pioneered by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, that revolutionized European painting and sculpture, and inspired related movements in music, literature and architecture.

It is no coincidence that when Mansoor Rahi, during his academic period in 1959, used blocks of colour rendered in an unambiguous manner to constitute the face of the subject in Portrait Study, led his teacher Kibria to wonder whether he would later become a proponent of Cubism.

A hypothesis that proved to be correct, considering 50 years have passed and the same blocks are still strongly evident in his work.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2011

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