Western influences on Postcolonial Artist Tanweer Murshad's Art.

Byline: Syed Farjood Ailya Rizvi, Rafia Tahir and Faiqa Butt


Tanweer Murshad was an art teacher and a practicing Pakistani artistduring 1970s to 2013. His contribution in literature and art is not much recognised. His work is compared with the European artists duringmid-19th to 20th century. The aims are to trace the inspirations and differences in the landscapepaintings. The purpose of this paper is to highlight Tanweer Murshad's contribution in Pakistani art. The research emphasises on the historical aspects and circumstantiality under which the art works wereproduced in differenttimes. The topic highlights the artist's intentions and his art works. Before this research no comparisons are studied or documented regarding Tanweer Murshad's landscape paintings. The scientific revolution of 17th century transformed society focusing reasons over religious control. The education captivated in understanding and spread of knowledge. The Enlightenment promoted individual thinking. Thus freedom, democracy and reason reoriented in Europe.

This movement also referred as the age of reason. It condemned Rococo art for being immoral. The French revolution in 1789 transformed into bloody terror and led to the rise of Napoleon. Later idealism as aesthetics dominated the art scene. Nature as a subject matterinspired artist. Experience, dialogue and raw materials were the main ingredients for the creation of art. Ultimately it paved the way to 19th century Romanticism. Starting from Indus valley till the partition of the subcontinent, the territories have been invaded by various civilizations including Arabs, Iranians and people from Central Asia and Europe. Due to location on its trade routes and invasions this region was exposed to different cultures and values. However out of many establishments the Muslim Mughal rule was one of the major influences. The Mughals were conquered by the British in the second half of 19th century and India became a colony of Britain. The colonial period laid foundations for the art education in India.

The British raj came to an end in the mid of 20th century with the partition of the subcontinent. All these historical events shaped up and influenced the art scene in the region. The oldest and renowned art institutions in Pakistan were setup during the colonial period. The foundation of art education in Pakistan was the mix of both European and regional arts. All this hascontributed a lot to the postcolonial art in Pakistan. The post-independence Pakistani painters have been influenced by Western art movements. Though, most of the artists adapted the forms to their own cultural sphere. The influences can be clearly observed in Pakistani painters like Impressionism, Expressionism, Surrealism, Op Art and others. With the passage of time, artists have developed inventive styles.1 In the early decades of 20th century, painters were engaged in articulating in a language derived from the break-up of European art traditions.

The works of Shakir Ali and Zubeida Agha emphasised innovation as compare to Chughtai and Ustad Allah Bukhsh. They adopted the modes of expression personal appropriation of the outside world. 2

Biography of Tanweer Murshad

Murshadwas born on 31st July 1952 in Sialkot, Pakistan. He started excelling in fine arts subjects right from his childhood. After his secondary education in 1971, he came to Lahore and met with Shakir Ali and saw him working. He was also a student of Anna Molka Ahmed, the founder of College of Art and Design at Punjab University Lahore...

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