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Aasim Akhtar
Gandhara-art December 2009,
Hardback, 45 pages
ISBN : -

Throughout his career Mudassar Manzoor has remained committed to the representation if the human figure. He considers the human subject as providing limitless motif without loss of universal recognition. His drawings offer representations if the human figure as a type of generic but absolute form in much the same way as reduced forms within abstraction has been used to signify the essential and inarguable. Over years of practice Manzoor has reflected upon and considered the divide between figuration and abstraction as central problem in the representation of being, this poses dialectic within Manzoor work hinting at an essential anxiety – the figure in isolation or alienation within the field, embodied in a form of schematic representation. His figures are defined through processes implying a distressed surface enhancing the implication of anxiety within the human condition. His fixation with surface, scoring and marking is less about ornament but is more related to materiality as actuality and excavation as a metaphor. Mudassar Manzoor’s paintings are not for rationalists, literalists or the faint of heart. Nor are they for those in search of particular histories. They are not intended to provoke memory or preserve flesh from the passage of time. They will not encourage the viewer to travel aboard to see what has been missed. They are not about beauty, at least not about our conventions of beauty, the easy surface of style or charm. They are about the soul, how it appears delicately, tentatively, in the fold of an arm, the bend of a back, how it moves on its way toward death or birth or both. These paintings belong to a surrealist tradition, but they extend beyond surrealism. Mudassar repeatedly reveals the illusory aspect of the way things look in reality, but has to take some recourse to allegorical codes in order to do so. In this respect his work has affinities to the writers of his day. Who open their readers’ eyes to the abyss beyond the surface of things.