THE LIGHT AND SPACE in the slick glass-and-pine Drawing Room gallery in Lahore’s central Gulberg district sets off the stunning range of works handpicked by owner and curator Sanam Taseer. Vibrant Impressionist-style images of dancing women hang alongside graphic prints, wooden sculpture and large-scale watercolours reflecting more traditional images of Pakistani landscapes and village life.
The relaxed and exploratory vibe in the gallery is reflected by the rows of frames leaning against the walls and sumptuous couches scattered throughout the space, and is typical of the kind of galleries and exhibition spaces opening in Lahore. Taseer is drawn to diverse, modern and often experimental pieces from up-and-coming talent across the city, regularly showing works by student artists from university degree shows.
Often referred to as Pakistan’s ‘capital of culture,’ Lahore boasts a thriving art scene, with galleries, exhibitions, workshops, courses and events geared to showcasing an ambitious range of talent and mediums. From the development of the Mughal style of miniature painting to the evolution of folk craft, a thriving centre that now sees contemporary artists exploring Pop Art, Abstract Expressionism, Cubism, and a new modern movement building on the traditional miniature has emerged. This fusion of past and contemporary influence is driven by a strong student art movement and a growing contemporary gallery scene.