THERE IS BEAUTY YET: SARA RIAZ KHAN

Showing her work at the Bait Muzna Gallery, Muscat (November 2014), Sara Riaz Khan inducts the city of her roots Lahore, with its resplendent history as the setting for a poetic statement, worked with a finely balanced palette. In her artwork, the artist narrates the changes wrought by time and to a sensitive audience, it would appear that the source of the artist’s inspiration is the power of nature that triumphs over the greatness of kings. While visiting the once magnificent palace complex of Lahore Fort, established by the Emperor Akbar centuries ago, the Oman based Pakistani artist reflected on the richly decorated representation of Mogul greatness that is now reduced to a neglected symbol of historic times. Expressing her feelings with a spontaneous abstract idiom of diverse coloration, the artist freely creates artworks of tactile layers, while striving to discover the essence of nature in the once decorative aspect of a historic landmark.

"This series is my personal response to finding pockets of beauty amongst the exposed brickwork and fading colours; it is a reflection of hope in the midst of neglect and an interpretation of what I saw where my shadow fell".

Sara Khan has a wide experience of art study that encompasses Heatherly’s School of Fine Art; Buffalo State University, and the University Of London School Of Oriental Studies.

Her work has been exhibited in Pakistan in prestigious galleries in Lahore and in Karachi, and more recently in Dubai.

Viewing her latest series is a visual journey as one discovers nuances of diffused media and hues in compositions that appear to encapsulate an enchanting vision of subtly changing lightness. Sara Khan belongs to the company of artists who emphasize a subject by focus on colour, following the tradition of non-figurative paintings first produced by Kandinsky in 1911. His work emerged from the desire to touch the soul of the viewer with the `physical power of colour’. From that time on art history has an outstanding succession of painters who were inspired by poetry expressed in brushstrokes. Sara Riaz Khan belongs to the company of those who, in the words of Malevich, wanted to free art 'from the ballast of the concrete world.'

Viewing the artist’s work, one enjoys the sensuous merging of colour and texture, the abstract marks in a setting that is timeless yet contemporary. One senses the artist’s contemplation is linked to a spiritual dimension, one in which the real and imaginary are merged to create an ambience of timelessness. Colours fused create a profound effect on an audience, suggesting the passing of time through seasons of family history.

Communicating meaning without figuration is challenging, in Sara Khan’s work it appears she is inventing a new still life idiom. The artist’s art practice, the skillfully fused brushstrokes, is based on a passion for painting and the desire to explore the medium creating beauty that is haunting though enigmatic.

Marjorie Husain SHE Magazine November 2014