Sadequain (1923 - 1987)
The reed pen master rose the masses and painted for the masses, and subtly carved his way to touch heights of intellect. Belonging to a family of calligraphers, he could ride on his lines the way he wanted, moulding and twisting them in his figurative works, the most delicate of them grab in his own naked appearance. Sadequain picked up his vocabulary from his own surrounding. His canny sensibility taught him that ideologies based on spiritual aspect s of life last the longest and make the deepest effects on humans. He picked up his ancestral skill of calligraphy and painted holy verses from the Qura’an on his canvases emphasizing the meaning throught forms known to ordinary people. On the one hand he exploited the religious sentiments of people and on the other he created figures that would inspire awe and amusement among the masses. Was it not amusing to see Sadequain on canvas with his chopped off head in his hand? It was awe inspiring to see Sadequain with a crow’s nest in his skull. He personalified himself in his forms even when he painted a cactus. It was Sadequain peeping through all his forms and figures.
Saeed Akhtar is well known, distinguished man of the arts; a former National College of Art Professor, who began his art training as one of Shakir Ali’s early students in the sixties. In his second year at NCA, Shakir Ali asked Saeed to teach drawing to the first year classes so very early on Saeed began to teach. As a student he worked hard and with the serious approach that earned him Shakir Ali’s approval and affection. In his final year at the college, Saeed worked in sculpture and later was to teach the discipline. A year’s scholarship at the Academia of Higher Art, Florence, gave Saeed the opportunity to study art restoration. He travelled widely visiting museums and galleries in Spain, UK, France and Germany. He is the recipient of many awards and honours and has represented Pakistan in numerous exhibitions internationally. He became Pakistan’s foremost portrait painter credited with over 1000 portraits of the Quaid-I-Azam. For a military parade held in 1988, the artist created a portrait, 66 feet high of the Quaid which he assembled by putting together one hunded and fifty 4x4ft painted pieces. In recent years he has been much acclaimed for his paintings of horses, the dazzling Buraq series, and a series that combined brilliant draughtsmanship with fantasy, with beautiful, bejeweled and slender female figures. These were no earthly maidens; their world was exotic, bright with flowers, butterflies and birds. His intense analysis of space volume endows his work with a three dimensional aspect, a reference perhaps to his years as a sculptor.
The distinguished miniaturist Waseem Ahmed, graduated from the National College of Arts with Honors in 2000, and since 2001 has been showing his work throughout Pakistan to a positive response. His paintings have been widely exhibited in Greece, Nepal, India, Japan, and Oman. In 2004, he participated in a group display of miniature paintings at Parliament House, London. Melding tradition and contemporary views, the artist displays paintings that allow him the freedom to incorporate classic elements with contemporary interventions. It appears the artist is actually commenting on the current developments taking place currently in the field of miniature art. Waseem Ahmed divides his time between painting and teaching his discipline to students of the Miniature Art department of N.C.A. He explained that while still a student, he developed the habit of working at his paintings for several hours each day and maintains this practice up to the present time.