Signed 'Jamil Naqsh' (lower right)
Albemarle Gallery, London
EXHIBITED AND PUBLISHED
Jamil Naqsh: an artist between three cultures, Albemarle Gallery, London, 2016 p. 41 (illustrated)
Jamil Naqsh is one of the best-known artists of modern Pakistan. A master draughtsman, the backbone of his art is his profound understanding of texture, light and space.
Intrinsically a figurative painter and a trained miniaturist, his artwork tends to depict the female form, which is often paired with pigeons and other subjects of nature. While the subject matters is his work maybe deliberately restricted, his paintings have been grounded in rich tradition.
As in this particular painting, Naqsh portrays a beautiful and seemingly isolated human accompanied by a pigeon. The pigeon, a traditional signifier of love in the culture he comes from, is seemingly perching from a flight, the bird’s role as messenger implied. This expression of romantic love usually connotes separation rather than union. Such sentiments are often pervasive in 'ghazal' poetry which is a significant source of his oeuvre. The painting speak eloquently of the romantic feeling of longing for the object of love and possibly the message the pigeon brings. Like most of his works, this painting depicts a model caught unaware of the presence of an onlooker, caught in oblivion. Essentially in a muted palette, the surface becomes the supreme obsession of the painter who manipulates his marks, textures and tones through his well-honed virtuoso skills.