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Elephantacy / KAUSAR IQBAL

Presented by

May, 2016
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Invites you to a Solo exhibition of Paintings

recent work by


on Wednesday, 18th May, 2016

Opening at 6:00 p.m.

Exhibition will continue till 25th May, 2016

Miniature VS Elephant
While examining the miniature paintings of the Subcontinent, Kausar Iqbal is highly intrigued by the form of the iconic elephant,
a symbol of power, strength and humility. He explores the nature of the elephant and finds similarities in traits between humans
and elephants, while keeping in line with the discipline of the genre. By bringing the colossal scale of the elephant into miniature
form, he creates a new expression. The elephant form has been an integral part of miniature painting of the subcontinent,
primarily because the elephant once served as the Rolls Royce of Mughal royalty, both in times of peace and war. During wars
it was used as a tank to crush enemys army, asserting its power. During times of peace, it was a regal symbol of grace and
poise and abundance . Kausar Iqbal uses the same power symbolism as the main object as well as a subject to introduce a
modern vocabulary in the world of contemporary miniature painting. The artist creates subtle nuances while playing with the
elephant forms on 20 canvases. Depicting the elephants spectrum of moods, Iqbal opens new vistas to exploit his dexterity.
One can see delicate, colourful shoots sprouting from its tusks when the animal is elated. In remorse, it hides a tear in its starlet

The most striking feature of the collection is a scene of mother and child; herein the mother elephant looks at its newborn with
humility, and an ecstatic pain which is experienced by any mother post-delivery. In contrast, parallel to this scene, stands a
canvas showing the wrath of the beast. Iqbal poetically draws these variations of a single form, much like a nude painted by
countless artists, particularly artists claiming that the nude is not a woman but simply a form for them. Iqbal treats the elephant
as his model and brings it close to the human form in many points. A band with an amulet with crescent and star on it narrates
a socio-political statement. It is the elephant that rules the scene. Drawing parallels between the elephant and human nature,
the works lends certain universality to the series. Iqbals works with animals, snakes, birds, bees and beetles is surrealistic
and engrossing in nature; at the same time exhibits his proficiency as a miniature painter. His animal world also refers to the
process of evolution. He creates imaginary situations where birds, animals, flora and fauna and insects are in communication
with each other; the communion staying friendly, playful and natural, bringing a sense of innocence in his work. This thoughtful
experimentation with symbolism of Animal-animal and Human-animal creates a surreal hybrid of social personification. The
combination of such ideas along with the use of stitching, amulets, monochromatic trees sprouting out as extended trunks
create quite remarkable and meaningful symbolism.

Interestingly, this series of works offer its viewers a visual glee of enhanced Elephantacy applied through the same miniature
technique, however magnified on larger scale than his previously exhibited works. This bold approach questions the conventions
of traditional miniature techniques and scale of imagery. It adds a degree of flexibility to the already established boundaries of
miniature, making it quite contemporary. Kausar Iqbal has a great command over his tools. He uses gudrang, neem rung and
siyah qalam and other elements for his work. He successfully conveys his concepts through his miniature art. Over the past
eight years, Iqbal has shown his work extensively in various National and International exhibitions across the world.

Shamim Akhter
The Elephantasy of reality
Elephantasy, a new series of works by Kausar Iqbal represent ideas on a broader scale beyond the cultural and geographic
boundaries of the East, something few Pakistani miniature artists have achieved. Using his meticulous techniques and astute
observations, Iqbal engages the audience in a dialogue on social issues and political symbolism of today.
Art collectors have recognized this quality of Iqbal globally, particularly in the United States, where the Elephant and Donkey
icons represent the Republican and Democratic national parties, a timely association with the current general elections in the

In a way, Iqbals work can also be likened to the 21st Century political cartoonist Thomas Nast. However, unlike Nasts Elephant,
Kausars sacred elephant isnt confused, bruised or ailing. Instead it stands composed with grace and power. Unlike Nasts
Jackass Kausar Iqbals Donkey believes in progress, reform and cohabitation, realizing the greater need for positive change
within society. Like Nast, he derives his vocabulary from the horrors of war, however resulting in a much more positive light

Being a Pakhtoon from Pakistan, the impact of war seeping into his work is inevitable. The cold war and the war on terror have
left deep scars on the Pakhtoon society; once emblematic for values, hospitality, peace and security, the society is now left
divided in fragments of distrust, ignorance and delusional fanaticism. Iqbal tells stories of the ordinary man in extraordinary
political circumstances, using the elephant symbolically as an abstraction. Iqbal refers to his work as Khyal; a narrative of
optimism, tranquility and meditation, which are some of core attributes of artistic practice in this region since the times of
Gandhara Civilization.

He reminds us of a more peaceful and progressive time in Pakistani (and Pakhtoon) society not long ago and he believes it to
return. The optimism in his paintings communicates messages of love, peace and hope, something not particularly synonymous
with Pakhtoon society today. Iqbals elephant depicts the quintessential Pakhtoon man with positive attributes with a more
empathetic and progressive mindset. He believes this approach is the primary way to succeed in todays contemporary society.
He hopes to pass this on to the coming generations through his work.

By Kamran Babrak
Gouache on wasli / 20 x 27 inches
Gouache on wasli / 20 x 27 inches
Gouache on wasli / 20 x 27 inches
Gouache on wallpaper / 20 x 41 inches
Gouache on wasli / 28 x 39 inches
Gouache on wasli / 28 x 39 inches
Gouache on wasli / 20 x 27 inches
Gouache on wasli / 39 x 58 inches
Gouache on wasli / 20 x 27 inches
Gouache on wasli / 19 x 39 inches
Gouache on wasli / 9 x 13 inches
Gouache on wasli / 9 x 13 inches
Gouache on wasli / 9 x 3 inches
Gouache on wasli / 9 x 13 inches Gouache on wasli / 6 x 10 inches
Gouache on wasli / 12 x 14 inches

Gouache on wasli / 12 x 14 inches

Gouache on wasli / 12 x 14 inches

Gouache on wasli / 6 x 10 inches Gouache on wasli / 9 x 13 inches
Kausar Iqbal
Born 1980

from National
2006 BFA from National College
(Lahore) PAKISTAN.
(Lahore) PAKISTAN. International Exhibitions/Shows
Major in miniature 2006
2006 Exhibition Algerian Ministry of Culture in collaboration with ISESCO
Organizing an Islamic Competition of Miniature
2007 Exhibition in (New End Gallery), London.
2009 Twelve gates gallery New Jarcey USA
Solo Exhibitions/Shows 2009 Twelve gates gallery New Jarcey USA
2006 Exhibition (Thesis Display) at NCA 2009 Twelve gates gallery New Jarcey USA
2007 Show in Dimension Stones Center, Peshawar 2010 Art faire in Paris
2008 Show in Dimension Stones Center, Peshawar 2012 Group show in Iran
2008 Exhibition in Hazara University 2012 Group show in Toronto
2008 Iapex (Institute of Architects Peshawar Pakistan 2012 Group show in Saudia Arabia (Jedah) (PNCA)
2008 Inauguration Of Dimension Stone Center Peshawar 2013 Group show in Canada (PNCA)
2009 Solo show in miniature first studio Rawalpindi 2013 Group show Musawar art gallery
2010 Solo show Pachydermal in Rohtas 1 islamabad 2014 Group show in New Zealand (PNCA)
2011 Solo Exhibition at Kunj at Karachi.
2012 13 Solo show collaboration Joint Forces Experience:
2011 Pakistan Institute of Fashion and Design Lahore
Group Exhibitions/Shows 2010-11 Rawalpindi Institute of Art/Design
2004 Rang-e- Raigzaar. Group exhibition held at Zahur-ul-Haq Gallery NCA 2009-10 Iqra University, Islamabad
2005 Calligraphy at Alhamra art Council 2008-09 Fatimah Jinnah Women University
2007 Exhibition in Kunj Art Gallery Karachi. 2007 Lecturers and workshop Cecos & Hazara University Dimension Stones
2007 Exhibition ( Lahore Museum) Tollinton market Center, PCSIR Complex Peshawar
2007 Exhibition NCA Rawalpindi Campus 2007 Eight months of work experience in first miniature studio.
2007 Exhibition (Illuminated Manuscript) at Nairang Gallery, Lahore 2011 4 days free-lance miniature workshop in 1st miniature studio Rawalpindi
2008 Painting Competition In U.E.T Peshawar 2011 Member Pak association falconry.
2008 Exhibition (The Art Gallery) Karach 2014 Artist Residency (PNCA) in Ayubia, KPK
2009 Behind the Frame, PNCA Islamabad
2009 Alhamraart
Alhamra artgalley,
show) Publications/Books
2010 Islamabad
Art faire in gallrey6 Islamabad 2008 Lahore Fort and Images of Miniature (Published by UNISCO & NCA)
2010 Show in Rawalpindi institute of art/design 2009 Mere dost mere musawer by Jahanzeb Malik
2011 Vogue gallery Lahore (5 provinces national group show) 2010 Publication in Ink magazine
2011 Group competition in IM Sciences Peshwar 2011 United - in the Age of Dialogue in PNCA by
2011 United - in the Age of Dialogue in PNCA by byRASTAY
2011 Itwar bazaar in gallery 6 Islamabad Membership:
2011 Group show in Jharoka art gallery by RASTAY 2003-06 Member Nautanki Club NCA, Lahore
2012 Group show in PNCA Islamabad 2003-06 Member Alif Adab Club NCA, Lahore
2012 Group show in the drawing studio gallery
2013 Group show Art scene, Karachi 50 miniature artists Awards:
2013 Group show Ejaz Gallery 2006 Turkish award (peace at home peace in the world)
2013 Group show Grandeur Art gallery 2008 First prize in Muree competition
2014 Residency show PNCA, Islamabad 2008 Guljee Award Show in Abbaseen Art Gallery, Peshawar
2014 Group
ShowAl AlHambra
Funn 2011 S. S. Haider Award in Abbaseen Art Gallery, Peshawar
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