Reflection on price negotiation, the intricacies of the art market itself
The Sanat Initiative hosts an art exhibition featuring works by Adeel uz Zafar, Meher Afroz, Muhammad Zeeshan, RM Naeem and Scheherezade Junejo. Entitled “Prix fixe”, the exhibition will take place at the gallery until August 11.
‘Fixed Price’, the first exhibition curated by Abid Aziz Merchant, the co-founder of the Sanat Initiative, looks back on his experience of the past eight years running a commercial gallery in Pakistan and building global networks with artists and collectors.
In an uncertain economic system plagued by inflation, devaluation and disrupted capital flows, the art world relies on relationships, friendships and trust.
Reflecting on price negotiation and the intricacies of the art market itself, the exhibition explores what it can mean to maintain this important node as a constant and important supporting infrastructure in the art world. .
Adel uz Zafar
Adeel uz Zafar is an internationally renowned artist and art educator. Zafar holds a BFA with honors from the prestigious National College of Arts (NCA), Lahore. Shortly after completing his studies, Zafar spent time working as an illustrator, an experience that greatly influenced his practice.
The form of his signature work has since evolved into a haunting representation of monochrome images, and his fascination with black and white pushes his medium and practice into new directions and the exploration of a moving image with connotations wider.
Always interested in history, Zafar relates to modern times and re-contextualizes timeline, evoking credibility, countries, conquests and losses that have occurred to shape social, cultural, religious and political identities such they show up today.
He is currently a tenured professor at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture (IVSAA), Karachi. Zafar has participated in numerous national and international exhibitions. He has presented his work at international art fairs, festivals and biennials, and participated in national and international art residencies.
Zafar’s interest in telling a story so heavily steeped in modern history and acceptance on the modern platform to broadcast it prompted him to dive into a first director’s film to make an abstract film at the arthouse slow motion.
“The End” brings out the ugliness and is a reminder of how intolerant we have become as a society and a nation. It was screened as an official selection at the prestigious UK Asian Film Festival in 2021 and was nominated for the Satyajit Ray (Ray of Hope) award.
Meher Afroz, Professor at IVSAA and Fellow of Pakistan Arts Council, Karachi, is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Pride of Performance Award from the Government of Pakistan in 2014, and an Honorable Mention at the 6th Asian Biennale in 1993 in Bangladesh.
Meher graduated with honors in fine arts from the Government College of Arts and Crafts, Lucknow, India, in 1971. She has participated in numerous national and international workshops and residencies, including Studio RM International Residency in 2010; Workshop in Toulouse, France, in 1996; Painter Workshop at the Alliance Française, Islamabad, in 1995; Painter Workshop at the Goethe Institut, Lahore, in 1993; Printmaking workshop with Walter Crump at the American Center, Karachi, in 1993 and workshop in woodcut techniques at the Kala Institute, San Francisco, USA, in 1991.
Meher’s work has been featured in notable publications such as 50 Years of Visual Arts in Pakistan (1997) by Professor Quddus Mirza, Pioneering Prospective (1998) by Niilofur Farrukh and Image and Identity (1999) by Dr Akbar Naqvi.
Meher has shown her work in several solo and group exhibitions in Pakistan, UK, Sri Lanka, Canada, Iraq, India, Hong Kong, UAE, France, Nepal, USA States, Bangladesh, Australia and Italy. She lives and works in Karachi.
Muhammad Zeeshan was born in 1980 in Mirpurkhas and received his BFA in Miniature Painting from the NCA in 2003. Zeeshan lives and works in Karachi, and is currently an Adjunct Professor at IVSAA.
The direction he takes with a particular work is strongly determined by the medium in which he works. However, motifs such as roosters run through his works and are reminiscent of his childhood in Pakistan.
Additionally, Zeeshan said his artwork draws the fine line between found imagery and originality attributed to any existing visual. He has exhibited internationally across Europe, Asia, Africa, North America and Australia, participating in numerous international museum exhibitions.
His recent solo exhibitions include Money Provides, Culture Aspires II, Sanat Initiative (2021); Nangeli, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London (2021); Money Provides, Culture Aspires, Sanat Initiative (2020); Serve with white gloves, Galerie Kristin Hjellegjerde, Berlin (2019); Art Dubai Solo Project, Sanat Initiative (2018); Refreshment, Sanat Initiative (2017); Contemporary Istanbul, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery (2017); Twitter by Funkier Than A Mosquito, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery (2015); One for the Birds, Gandhara Art Space (2014); Safar Nama, Canvas Gallery (2014) and “Siri” Special Series, Aicon Gallery, New York (2011).
His selected group exhibitions include Pretty Art For Pretty People, Sanat Initiative (2020); All the Days and Nights, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London (2020); Art Dubai, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery (2017); Present Re-Inventions, Grosvenor Gallery, London (2014) and Havelian Express, CAIS Gallery, Hong Kong (2010).
His work can be found in private and public collections, including Hundal Collection, Chicago; British Museum, London; Metropolitan Museum, New York; Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan, and was recently acquired by the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, California; the Devi Art Foundation, India, and the Walton Family Collection, USA.
His curatorial projects include Mera Safar, Zahoor ul Ikhlaq Gallery, NCA (2020) and Karachi Biennale 2019 (KB19). He also participated in many art fairs.
RM Naeem was born in 1968 in Mirpurkhas. In 1993, he graduated from the NCA with a distinction in fine arts. He has been on the permanent faculty (assistant professor) of his alma mater since 1994. In 2019, he was awarded an NCA Fellowship.
Over the past 27 years, he has held 18 solo exhibitions in Pakistan and abroad and curated various exhibitions by local and international artists. In addition, his work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in numerous important group exhibitions.
They include Asian Art Biennale, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2004 and 2006); International Biennial of Artists, Iran (2006); Pyeongtack International Art Festival, Lake Museum, Korea (2006 and 2007); Art Expo Malaysia (2010); Slick Art Fair Paris, France (2010); Singapore Affordable Art Fair (2011); Affordable Art Fair Melbourne, Australia (2012); India Art Fair, Delhi (2014); Sindh Art Fair, Karachi (2014) and Jaipur Art Summit, India (2014).
Other countries that have shown his work include Thailand, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, China, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Norway and Canada . As a participant in various juried art residencies, he participated in 17 art camps and residencies abroad during his career.
He has also conducted various art consultancy workshops in Pakistan and abroad. In 2015, he was selected by the Chinese Embassy to experience Chinese art and culture, and to represent and promote Pakistani art and art education in six cities in China.
He represented Pakistan in New York at New Pathways: Contemporary Art from Pakistan, organized by the Tanzara Art Gallery, organized by the Embassy of Pakistan to the United Nations. Since 1994, he has been promoting art through educational activities in his Studio RM.
In 2008, he started the Studio RM (International) residency program in Lahore. In 2018 he was shortlisted for the Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility Staff Education Week at Middlesex University London.
Naeem’s work has won several scholarships, awards and prizes in Pakistan, including the Provincial Best Painter Award (1991 and 1992); first prize in the Best Short Film category at the Punjab Film Festival (2014), Lahore; Summer Film Festival 2014, Mainz, Germany (shortlisted); Kunsthalle Mainz 2014 (shortlisted); National Award of Excellence (2003) and Sadequain Pride of Performance Award (2021).
Her work can be seen in various private and official collections, and has been featured in local and international art publications. Naeem lives and works in Lahore.
Scheherezade Junejo was born in 1986 in Karachi. She graduated from the NCA in January 2010 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours). She has six solo exhibitions to her credit and has participated in more than 50 national and international group exhibitions since June 2010.
The most notable shows she has participated in are ArtDom Part 2, Sergelgatans Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden (November 2021); Oscar Studio & Galleri, Oslo, Norway (October 2021); Grand Hotel, Oslo (September 2021); Sanat Initiative (January 2021); Noah’s Ark, KB19 (October 2019); Focus On: Pakistan, Le Dame Art Gallery, London Art Rooms, London (January 2018); Chiaroscuro, AnYahh Art Gallery, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (November 2017); Venice Biennale, Imago Mundi Project stand, Italy (2017); Moniker Art Fair, Old Truman Brewery, London (October 2016); Mirrors of the Artosphere, Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York, United States (August 2016); Art Expressions, Capital Club, DIFC, Dubai (June 2016); Art Basel, Miami, United States (December 2015); Pakistan Art Today, Lalit Hotel, New Delhi (October 2014) and Affordable Art Fair, Royal Exhibition Museum, Melbourne (May 2012).
She was featured in the first edition of Current Masters, a contemporary artists publication by World Wide Art Books, in 2015. She was also awarded 10 Best Works at the Alhamra Arts Council, Lahore, in April 2011, and was nominated for the Sovereign Prize for Asian Art in 2020.
Scheherezade has contributed her works to several fundraisers, charities and auctions for causes such as Art For Education, Covid-19 Relief and Special Olympics Pakistan. She designed custom sculptural pieces for Monsieur Fox’s Fall Cabaret collection in July 2013.
She has taught art at PYP, MYP and O levels at Lecole for Advanced Studies (2010 to 2012). She is an adjunct faculty member at IVSAA, where she has taught drawing and painting since 2013. She also curates exhibitions for the Full Circle Gallery.