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Drawing - 'Mullah looks at Life'

'Mullah looks at Life'

  • Object:

    Drawing

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1983 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Sohail, born 1930 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Drawn in ink on paper

  • Museum number:

    IS.37-1987

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The painting depicts several nudes in various positions, some partially hidden by serpents others by trees. In this painting, the artist pokes fun at the figure of the Mullah by depicting several nudes in various positions - some partially hidden by serpents others by trees.

Tassaduq Sohail was born in Jullundhar, East Punjab in 1930. After the partition of India, the artist fled with his family to Pakistan where he settled in Karachi. In the early 1960s Sohail moved to London and began taking drawing classes at Central Saint Martins School of Art. In his watercolours, the artist often ridicules mullahs, rabbis and priests by depicting them in compromising situations. Sohail has also produced many naive and fantastic landscapes where animals frolic and trees flourish.

Physical description

Ink drawing on paper, depicting several nudes in various positions, some partially hidden by serpents others by trees. From a conversation between the artist and RWS, May 1987: 'his given name if Tanadiq Rasuk but he dislikes the significance of 'attachment to the prophet' and wants to change it. Sohail is hs tahhallus, referring to the star lanupus... He approves of the titles 'Mullah at night, Mullah looks at Life'. He says that the drawing is about how life in messed up by the Mullahs.'

Place of Origin

London (made)

Date

1983 (made)

Artist/maker

Sohail, born 1930 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Drawn in ink on paper

Dimensions

Height: 41.5 cm with frame, Width: 34 cm with frame

Object history note

Purchased from the Horizon Gallery. Rp 37/1997. Both IS.37 and 28-1987 were banned in Pakistan on religious grounds. RWS 1987: 'The two works purchased relate to the theme of the dislike of sexuality on the part of the Mullahs which along with stories heard in his childhood, provides the subject matter of most of his work'.

Historical context note

Tassaduq Sohail was born in India. He crossed to Pakistan in 1947 and studied psychology whilst publishing short stories. He came to Britain in the early 1960s and took drawing classes at Central Saint Martins School of Art in London. Both IS.37- 1987 and IS. 38-1997 were banned in Pakistan on religious grounds. In addition to his serious works he has been making portraits and spent time making sketches and studies on the nudist beach at Brighton. 'The two works purchased relate to the theme of the dislike of sexuality on the part of the Mullahs which along with stories heard in his childhood provides the subject matter of most of his work."

From conversation between the artist and RWS May 1987: "His given name is Tassaduq Sohail but he dislikes its significance of 'attachment to the prophet' and wants to change it. Sohail is his takhallus (pen-name in Urdu), referring to the star Canopus ... He approves of the titles 'Mullah at Night' and 'Mullah looks at Life'. He says that the drawing is about how life is messed up by the Mullahs."

A retrospective of the artist's work was held at the Noble Sage Art Gallery in London from 20 June-2 September 2007.

Descriptive line

Drawing, 'Mullah looks at Life' by Tassaduq Sohail, ink on paper, London, ca. 1983

Production Note

Sohail was born in India, crossing to Pakistan in 1947 and studying psychology while publishing short stories. He came to Britain in the early 1960s and joined drawing classes at St Martins School of Art. In addition to his serious works, he has been making low cost portraits and spent time naking sketches and studies on the nudist beach at Brighton. .

Materials

Ink; Paper

Techniques

Drawn; Painted

Subjects depicted

Nudes; Serpents; Trees

Categories

Drawings; Paintings; Bonita Trust Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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