The Team at Khaas Art Gallery
The Khaas Art Gallery, Islamabad, started off as ‘The Art Gallery’ in 1992. The foundation for the establishment was set in 1992 by local artist Momina Zuberi. Zishan Afzal Khan, art collector and gallerist; came in to partner with Momina on the Gallery, which in 2002 took on the name ‘Khaas Art’. In 2006, Momina relinquished her stake in the Khaas Art Gallery, leaving Zishan incharge, who now heads the enterprise as Managing Director and Chief Curator. Her team includes Shayan Afzal Khan, Director, and Babr Gul and Alia Bilgrami, Assistant Curators. Momina Zuberi continues to be a part of Khaas Art via regular interaction and exhibitions.
Aim of Khaas Art Gallery
Khaas Art Gallery’s main focus is contemporary art; to help art enthusiasts enjoy artistic representations of life as we experience it in current times. It aims to broaden perspectives by facilitating and encouraging art appreciation and collection. Khaas Art’s collection, while focusing more on ‘edgy’, experimental contemporary work, also showcases a variety of sculpture, drawing, printmaking, installation, video art and photography.
Khaas Art Effort to Promote Young Talent
The Gallery has thus naturally been the gallery of choice for the more avant garde artists both young and old, and has catered to the artistic thirst of collectors, students, scholars and critics. Khaas Art regularly holds exhibitions and shows that have often been cited by critics as ground-breaking and cutting-edge, many times helping newer talent gain recognition. Chief Curator Zishan maintains that the Gallery is perhaps the only one in the capital that promotes contemporary art and artists and a non-commercial gallery.
Art Collection in Khaas Art Gallery
The Khaas Art Gallery maintains three main categories of its art collection: the For Sale Collection, Art on Consignment for Sale and equally interesting, Historical Images of Pakistan. The main difference in the ‘For Sale’ collections is that the ‘Art on Consignment’ collection belongs to artists, whereas the ‘Gallery Collection for Sale’ has art that belongs to Khaas Art and is not for sale elsewhere.
Apart from shows and exhibitions, the Gallery also provides the ‘Khaas Art Advisory’ service for buyers, handled exclusively by Zishan Afzal Khan. The service includes getting an understanding of the buyers’ criteria; exploring Khaas Art’s catalogues; complementing existing collections and art evaluation. The Gallery also does its part to promote upcoming artistic talent through scholarships and internship programmes.
Exhibitions at The Khaas Art Gallery
The Khaas Art Gallery most recently (September 2013) exhibited Komail Aijazuddin’s new collection of work titled ‘Red and Gold’, the Gallery’s first exhibition of the season which also marked its re-launch/opening since it had been closed the previous year for renovations. The young Aijazuddin studied at New York University’s Studio of Art and History, and his current collection is inspired from his cross-cultural exploration of divinity. Previous exhibitions at Khaas Art Gallery include the ‘Paper One’ art show that showcased how paper in its simplicity and tactility can be used to explore current social and political themes; and ‘Three in a Crowd’, which exhibited the new works in digital print by three young artists from the National College of Arts (NCA), Lahore.
Khaas Art Gallery is not to be confused with ‘Kuch Khaas’, a non-profit enterprise which is an extension of the Khaas Art Gallery. Kuch Khaas terms itself as ‘A Centre for Arts, Culture and Dialogue’, and other community engagement activities. Both are located in the same premises.