Mansoor Aye

Mansoor Aye
He developed his own distinctive style which consisted of utter simplification of the image and rendering the face and the features with a few bold strokes. He used a very thick brush to make an outline of the face in the form of a circle, two straight lines for the thin long neck. A little dot sufficed for the small mouth and often the eyes were shown downcast coyly and drawn by just a semicircle with a fringe for eyelashes.

The vogue for Cubist abstraction was at its height in Pakistan in the 60s and so Mansur also crossed the face and neck with some diagnol lines and coloured them flat separately. The old Cubist trick of showing the profile of the face in the middle of the frontal picture of the face was also used by Mansur.

Thus, the moon-faced girls with the moon in the background became the hall mark of his work.
Aye was born in Delhi and lived most part of his life in Karachi. He passed away in April 2008 at the age of 67. No noticeable events were held to pay tributes to this modern artist of the country.

Aye, who decided to change his second name Ahmed and adopted the first letter of the alphabet (A — writing it as Aye) to sign his paintings, was a self-taught artist and did not conform to any school of art.

He was not inspired by anyone, not even by his father Maqsood Ali, who painted Quaid-i-Azam’s portrait soon after the partition.

Aye’s first exhibition was held at the Karachi Arts Council in 1962 in a two-artist exhibition shared with Jamil Naqsh.

He made his mark at once and won a prize in the Karachi artists’ exhibitions in 1962.

This show includes one painting from 1962. Aye’s national recognition came in 1964 when he won the third prize in the national painting exhibition held in Lahore and President Ayub Khan awarded him a prize.

Since then he remained active on the art scene, showing his work regularly till his death. The display will continue till February 24.