Ahmed Parvez (Pakistan, 1926-1979) Abstract,
Lot 18*
Ahmed Parvez
(Pakistan, 1926-1979)
Abstract,
Sold for £ 20,400 (US$ 26,197) inc. premium

Lot Details
Ahmed Parvez (Pakistan, 1926-1979)
Abstract, acrylic on canvas, signed and dated '75 lower left, framed,107 x 76cm (42 1/8 x 29 15/16in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Private collection, Pakistan.

    Exhibitied:
    Ahmed Parvez, Pakistan American Cultural Center, late 1970's.

    This work is the largest painting by the artist to appear at auction to date.

    1952 was the year that Ahmed Parvez's life began in earnest. He was a self taught artist, just twenty four years old when he was awarded the University Shield for Men at the annual All Punjab Art Exhibition. His contribution had been pastel pictures worked with children's chalk on printed newspaper.

    Parvez became one of the Lahore Group, who studied contemporary art with Shakir Ali, and after exhibiting his work in major cities in Pakistan, he set off for London in 1955; but he was to undergo years of frustration before his work was shown at a major gallery. When it happened his solo exhibition elicited encouraging reviews from the Press: The Times, Guardian, The Arts Review and Victor Musgrove. Dom Moraes wrote: 'The delicate and strange paintings of Mr.Parvez remind me of no one as much as Klee; but there is a certain weirdness, and, as it were, tapering off into another reality about these paintings that is wholly his own.'

    Paradoxically, just when success beckoned Parvez, after undergoing years of struggle turned his back on London and returned to Pakistan. This behavior appeared as a leitmotif in his life, he was to repeat this pattern of behavior in New York some years later.

    In Pakistan, Parvez's work excited admiration; he was primarily a colourist with a very personal, vibrant, explosive approach. The lyrical, linear beauty he painted was far beyond the 'decorative'. His volatile personality earned him detractors, but there was no greater critic of Ahmed Parvez's work than the artist himself.

    He was the first and only artist at that time to live an artist's life, depending on the sale of his work and following the path of a Bohemian. Perhaps for this reason the award that should have been his years earlier was late in coming. In 1978, he was awarded the President's Medal for Pride of Performance, but the end was in sight, some months later he died of a brain hemorrhage in 1979.

    Marjorie Husain, May 2011
    Compiler and Editor AP, Ahmed Parvez, Karachi, 2004.
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