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  • Dec 5th, 2015
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Deviating from his signature style Jamil Naqsh presents Islamic calligraphy in an influential bold texture and vibrant colours. The recent body of work is actually a personal representation of the Arabic script by the artist. Imbued with harmony and tranquillity the current show is entirely different from his earlier predominantly figurative paintings.

Jamil Naqsh, one of the most eminent artists of Pakistan also draws on the heritage of calligraphy by using calligraphic inscriptions and abstractions in his contemporary calligraphic works. Art enthusiasts can witness the unusual calligraphic paintings by world renowned reclusive Pakistani artist Jamil Naqsh in a solo calligraphy exhibition at Eye for Art Gallery, Karachi next week.

When I got the tempting invitation from Jawaid Haider, director of the gallery to attend the preview of calligraphic paintings exhibition by Jamil Naqsh, as an art connoisseur I was delighted to know this artistic side of the eminent artist. The inscriptions are fine-art pieces where the abstract expression of the written word may or may not compromise the legibility of the letters. Art lovers will enjoy fluid and spontaneous yet disciplined and beautiful calligraphy. Irregularity in the characters' size, style and colours added meaning to the calligraphy having different stroke order with each character.

Although in different works he used different techniques and styles every painting has a strong aesthetic appeal. With many of the themes and variations of his calligraphy paintings the content may be partially illegible, but is more meaningful to a viewer having love and respect for the work on view.

Islamic calligraphy with the passage of time develops various scripts and become a perpetually modern medium of representing the divine word. Islamic calligraphy excelled due to the forms of Arabic letters, composed of dots, lines and curves. These attributes give the artist a freedom to create. The scripts are functional as well as artistic and graphic; therefore even those who do not understand the writing can enjoy the sight of it.

The aesthetic evolution of alphabets framed within the technical skills and material limitations of a person depending upon the style of writing the alphabets following a particular script results in an artistic and sensitive calligraphy. One has to try to discover the mysterious beauty and elegance of the various calligraphy designs, which Jamil Naqsh has skilfully used in presenting the divine words.

Jamil Naqsh produced a new style in calligraphic art by using his creative ability and experimentations of using the popular scripts along with his artistic skills. He used different colour tones and introduced unusual hues to decorate his writing and these brilliant natural colours enhanced the warmth of the calligraphies.

He has chosen the design and execution of lettering with brush or pen and draws the letters in particular style called Khat or script. And with the addition of exotic colours he enriched the works.

He created an element of spiritual enlightenment through his palette. The use of appropriate colours made his calligraphy works more spiritual and enlightened. Other than shape, dimension and form colour is the main ingredient in a painting may it be any genre of art including calligraphy. And by using his phenomenal talent Jamil Naqsh has produced remarkable works through brilliant use of colours and superb balance between design and form.

This art is unified in style and purpose but indeed there are certain common features that distinguish the arts of all Islamic countries. But Jamil Naqsh has been fostering the creation of a distinctive visual culture with its own unique artistic language hence creating an exquisite rhythm and harmony in numerous scripts of calligraphy.

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Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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