Zargar’s paintings are imbued with the tinge of the chrome yellow scattering of rays that we associate with the sunrise and sunset-the subah and the sandhya. Of all Zargar's paintings here are those that look most modern, most abstract: those that look like a poem of light, a misty Malkauns raga played as an alaap by a Santoor player.
He has been away from Kashmir since the 70's and all these images which he portrays on the canvas emerge from his subconscious memories as and when he was child. There is no image in his mind when he sits to paint; he just starts hoping it will take him somewhere. Everything in Kashmir is an art be it sunrise, sunset or the onset of summer, houses in the old city or a man walking wearing a pheran with a kangdi in his hand. All of this forms an integral part of his subconscious memory which somehow finds its way onto the canvas.
The landscapes have a golden hue as if the citrus glare of the sun reveals the spectral form of a Srinagar valley; the pale light and smoky blue stronghold are reflected in a narrow stream at times. In Zargar’s hands earth, water and sky merge as you try to wonder where the sun's yellow merges in order to float into the sky's faint golden hues, where the flower flocked hills change into the reflection of the sky and everything resonates in tawny amber.
It's the veiled intangibility of the saffron tinted series that fascinates our modern eyes as soon we look upon it. Almost an evidence that the great Romantic painter in Zargar has turned his works to a pure form of music.
“Each work comes with distinct and piquant illumination ... and yet no general light falls in any particular direction approaching the landscape in a spirit of tenderness and humility, he is the poet of ephemeral transcience,” says art critic Uma Nair.
“Zahoor is an artist of atmospheres, illuminating his technique and love for nature with every stroke.”
Hint of mushed yellow, followed by a touch of red and brown. Look closer and he shows us the all-important technique of making brisk, firm brush strokes. The ever-changing play of weather, water and light along the places he frequents is a prime inspiration. Critic Uma Nair says she wants to help put the spotlight on artists who have worked for many decades. Chromatic Harmonies is one such venture.
Landscapes make up the bulk of an output that is characterized by firm draughtsmanship, a clear feeling for design and structure, tonal coherence and an impressionistic naturalism in the works of artist Zargar Zahoor.
These categorisations helped to spread a new appreciation of the countryside and we can glimpse in these works a residue of a world that we want to call paradise.
The show opened at Lalit Kala Akademi, Rabindra Bhavan, 35, Ferozeshah Road, New Delhi on 9th January 2017.
AT A GLANCE
Exhibition Name: CHROMATIC HARMONIES by artist Zargar Zahoor
Venue: Lalit Kala Akademi, Rabindra Bhavan, 35, Ferozeshah Road, New Delhi-110001
Date: 9th -15th January, 2017