Painting in Pakistan
by Ijaz ul Hassan
In writing Painting in Pakistan, Ijaz ul Hassan has, in effect, painted
a canvas that stretches from the days of the British raj to contemporary
Pakistan. On this canvas are represented the significant art movements as
well as painters associated with them.
With history as his backdrop,
the writer traces the development of painting in the subcontinent through a
study of Buddhist, Pala, Gujerati, Mughal, Punjab-Pahari and Sikh schools.
In a way these schools were instrumental in helping painters in their search
for identity, in an environment of alienation created during the colonial
With the creation of Pakistan in
1947, the post independence painters felt freer to explore newer
Highly individualistic styles,
expressive of the artists' own ethos, were suddenly seen on canvases. At the
same time certain painters continued their pursuit of reality with a keen
sensitivity to light and tone. And then there were artists who became
critical commentators of the human condition
Tough admitting his preference for "reality" in art, Ijaz ul Hassan doses
full justice to the works of all contemporary artists. Written and
researched over a period of 20 years, Painting in Pakistan is the
first publication of its kind. It not only gives an overview but also
insights into the works these painters. As an academic, Ijaz ul Hassan
approaches his subject with a great deal of knowledge and understanding.
Moreover, with the inclusion of 106 colour plates and 49 monochrome
reproductions, the book amply and richly illustrates the themes explored by
Ijaz ul Hassan in this elegantly written book.