Through the years, it has invariably been a pleasure to view the artwork of Chitra Pritam.
He is an artist who has made his place in art the centre of his life. From an early age, he appreciated of the beauty of his ancestral homeland in Sanjanpur, Rahimiyar Khan, and he would sketch his surroundings in its different seasons.As he grew to maturity, his desire to paint and become a practicing artist increased. Chitra visited exhibitions and met artists in Karachi, and he was encouraged by Jamil Naqsh, who gave him a studio to work in and books on art to read. Those were wonderful times for Chitra, who worked uninterrupted from morning till night, painting and studying art through the ages.
When Chitra Pritam first exhibited his work in 1995, the subject of the artist’s theme was the landscape around hishomeland. He painted the tall trees with shady branches that invited the viewer to rest beneath them and forget, for a time, the problems of daily life. One could almost inhale the scent of the countryside in those works of art, and since that first showing, Chitra Pritam never looked back.
In 2000, he was awarded the National Cultural Award. Chitra maintained the work routine of continuous hours and enjoyed the creativity of melding colours and textures.He went on to painted boats in sea-scapes that were visually delightful, with the colours of the sky reflected in the sea. Later he showed his skills at calligraphy, with paintings that were exquisitely worked in joyous colours.
On March 23rd 2013 Chitra Pritam was conferred with Tamgha-e-Imtiaz for his artistic skills and dedication.
Now showing a collection of artworks at the Art Scene Gallery, it is fascinating to study the artist’s unique sense of colouration in each of his works. He paints in layers, patiently and without hurry. Some of the paintings have taken as long as four years to complete as he has layered the work several times creating a third dimension in his seas, ships, skies and surroundings. Exploring the work is fascinating and takes time. When seen from a distance, as one views the work closer in the gallery, there are numerous unique qualities that stand out almost three dimensionally. One discovers the patterns in the wood of the trees and leafy branches, and the reflections created by the ships, and seas often touched by gold patterns of reflected skies. The crews of the ships are seen to be active, bringing movement and energy to the focus of the artwork.
The artist’s exhibition held at the Art Scene Gallery is a pleasure to behold, one that makes the viewer long to leave the city for a few days, and enjoy the eternal peace of the countryside.