“In his recent work, he has been concentrating on the theme of ‘Houses’ in which architectural qualities have replaced the earlier emphasis on colour. The sense of ‘perspective’ is conspicuous by its complete absence, and the first impression on seeing an exclusive exhibition of these ‘empty, front elevations’, as a critic put it while reviewing his exhibition two years ago, is one of haunting loneliness.” Jalal Uddin Ahmed, Contemporary Painters of Pakistan, Karachi, 1958, p. 52-53
Of interest in this painting is Imam’s use of the ‘Black Sun’, a motif seen in work from the 1950s by Raza (Haut de Cagnes, 1951, Black Sun¸ 1953) and Souza (Landscape with Black Planet, 1959). The sun, seen in India as creative, restorative and destructive here appears as a void, resonating with the empty windows of the buildings.
Private Collection, UK; Acquired directly from the artist
South Asian Modern Art 2020, Grosvenor Gallery, London, 23 July - 14 August 2020 (illustrated exh. cat. pg. 11)
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