“Echoes from Kashmir Valley” is a unique online curation where Zargar Zahoor, a world renowned visual artist has recommended three exceptional painters from Kashmir. The curation is to move away from stereotyping Kashmir, or the art created by Kashmiri artists. Instead, this curation is to consider the many layers and nuances of Kashmir and to view and love of art for art’s sake.
This curation is for us to break away from geographical limitations, and to transcend our preconditioned notions of Kashmir through these artworks. While all the three artists have elements of Kashmir in their treatment of their works, it is in the expression of their individuality that makes the artworks special. The beauty of this curation is that each of the artist’s approach to their art practice is unique, personal and yet, is connected to a single theme.
A K Raina was born in Srinagar in 1938 and his journey since has been nothing short of remarkable. His artworks are a close study, the joy in viewing his works lies in the details and little clues he leave on his canvas. These works may look like abstract art, but are probably better positioned in abstract expressionism. He strong lines, bold and carefree colour palette carefully cradles hints of figures, geometric shapes and landscapes from his hometown. Inspired by the natural beauty of Kashmir, A K Raina brings a kind of intensity that is perhaps possible only from decades of art training and experience.
Waseem Mushtaq Wani was born in 1973 in Kupwara in Kashmir. He is a founder member of Contemporary Art Foundation (NGO to practice and promote art awareness in Kashmir), which was active from 1995 to 1999. He is an active researcher, lecturer and an artist whose works contain incredible depth. Shapes and lines often interwoven with texts and popular images, the artist’s quest is to represent the multiple perceptions, ideas and cultural motifs that these texts and symbols contain.
Born in Sopore, Jammu and Kashmir, Javid Iqbal creates powerful works using acrylic on canvas. His works are an extension of his emotions and expressions. The notion of identity and self-hood is captured in his artworks. The strongest feature of his practice is his ability to create a canvas where the pigments intensely contained within delicate lines and brushstrokes, while also maintaining a consistent flow of colours throughout the canvas as though telling a story. The joy in these artworks arises from the freedom of interpretations of his stunning visual narratives.
Zargar Zahoor is a renowned artist, known for his captivating impressionist paintings. Created with unmatched technical prowess and a natural gift for representing nature, Zahoor had the fortune to work under the stalwarts of Indian art in Baroda including Ghulam Mohammad Sheikh, Jeram Patel, K.G. Subramanyam and others. He has also worked closely with great painters like Ramachandran Nair, Jatin Das and Paramjit Singh. It took him many years to find his own artistic style and once he did, there was no turning back.
The landscapes are not of any particular place or seen, and are not made in plein-air, but instead have emerged from his subconscious mind, perhaps a representation of the indelible impression of Kashmir from his childhood days. A master impressionist artist, Zargar Zahoor transcendental works create the final bedrock of this special online curation, as he is for many new generations of artists who came after him.