Waseem Ahmed: Pious Fear

Ambika Rajgopal of Saffronart shares a note on Waseem Ahmed’s current exhibition in Geneva

London: Geneva’s Gowen Contemporary announced the first solo exhibition in Switzerland of the Pakistani miniaturist Waseem Ahmed. In 2010, his work had already been exhibited at Gowen Contemporary in a group show entitled Have I Ever Opposed You? New Art from India and Pakistan.

Fragmentation 7, Waseem Ahmed, Lot 140, Saffronart Autumn Art Auction

Fragmentation 7, Waseem Ahmed, Lot 140, Saffronart Autumn Art Auction. Image Credit: http://www.saffronart.com/auctions/PreWork.aspx?l=9132

Ahmed contemporizes the traditional miniature style of painting by addressing relevant ongoing issues. His previous works saw reinterpretations of traditional myths and legends, but in this series he tackles the subject of the female presence in a patriarchal authoritarian system. His use of delicate brush strokes and fine detailing, contrasts against the graphic designing of his work.

In the work above, the painting is stratified into three parts. The background staying true to the miniature style is rendered in delicate brushstrokes- foliage against an orange evening sky. The middle ground shows a sea of burka-clad women- an identity-less mass of blue. In the foreground that dominates more than half the painting, a silver wall stands, on which are embossed guns that on first sight might not be visible.  The work alludes to the atrocities against women behind the seemingly secure walls of home.

Untitled, Waseem Ahmed, Lot 137, Saffronart Autumn Art Auction

Untitled, Waseem Ahmed, Lot 137, Saffronart Autumn Art Auction. Image Credit: http://www.saffronart.com/auctions/PreWork.aspx?l=9129

Two of Waseem Ahmed’s works are being auctioned in Saffronart Autumn Online Auction on September 24-25 2013.

The exhibition will be on until October 18, for more information click here.

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