Profile | Portfolio | History | Add to my artists

Mansur Salim

Mansur Salim is a Karachi based surrealist artist. Mansur Salim has been painting since the 1970’s; he studied at what used to be called the Central School of Arts, Karachi under such greats as Sadequain and Ali Imam. He also taught there till his illness.

 

"I have always mixed conventionality with unconventionality but for me these are opposite poles of the same reality. The perception of these is different from one person to another, living in a different time and space.

 

Mansur Salim

 

Mansur Salim is an extremely interesting artist, “an artist’s artist” as the venerated Ali Imam used to say. Since his graduating thesis in 1983, he has been fascinated by installations, happenings and conceptual art, and soon tired of the art market’s demand for his detailed architectural pieces. Other artists tried to follow this particular style, every brick delineated in a manner that confronted reality with hints of surrealism. In spite of the commercial success of this area of work, Mansur returned to the conceptual language that few understood. Those who did understand, considered him to be the most innovative and promising artist of his generation.

 

Throughout the years he has continued to study and research Islamic art and history. He traveled to rural areas where, to the great interest of the local people, he created installations and photographed them. His aesthetic direction set the pattern for future installations where he placed objects in natural settings creating an ambience of time suspended.

 

His work reflects boundaries separating reality, imagination, and things remembered. All appear to be in transition and an art language of diverse symbols gives clues to the artist’s inner journey. Mansur speaks of his imagery as “…signs for future scientists to unravel. Perhaps they are a subconscious message of things past and things to come.” He creates a dialogue for the observer involving history, the uncertainty of notions past down to us and raises doubts of past events as a fixed narrative through fragmented images that float through his mind, triggered by his surroundings.

 

Mansur is …. a superb painter with an adventurous approach…. a movement on his own. He has mastered media and tools and puts them together skillfully demonstrating the ability of painted images to both inform and conceal concurrently. Not always easy to read, his work is always worth the study and somehow creates his own brand of normaility.

 

Marjorie Husain