With many galleries and shows to choose from while one is visiting London, some are a must see. In her new series of paintings, Najmi Sura evokes the court life of the Indian subcontinent was ruled by the Mughal emperors at Albemarle Gallery. The Tate Modern featuring over a hundred paintings by Georgia O Keefe and a comprehensive exploration into 35 years of Mona Hatoum’s work in Britain. Tate Britain takes a look at artists who took art beyond its traditional boundaries to suggest new ways of engaging with the realities of the world beyond the studio in the show ‘Conceptual Art In Britain 1964–1979’. Theres also, Jeff Koons at Newport Street Gallery- a retrospective of sorts showcasing the modern works of an artist that many love to hate. Fox Talbot: Dawn of the Photograph currently up at National Media Museum presents the technicalities and age old romance with photography. Serpentine Gallery presents Serpentine Pavilion and Summer Houses 2016, with a collection of fantastic works!Masterpiece London, the leading international cross-collecting Fair for art, antiques and design, has become a must-attend event at the heart of the capital’s busy summer art and auction season.Offering for sale museum-quality works with superb provenance from over 150 leading galleries worldwide, Masterpiece provides a unique opportunity to buy the best pieces available across multiple disciplines in the current market.Showcasing works that span over 5,000 years of art history, from antiquity to the present day, the Fair creates an unparalleled event for collectors, and provides something of interest for every visitor.
Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art presents an exhibition by Rana Begum, the Bangladeshi-British artist’s first solo presentation in a public institution in the United Kingdom, bringing together a selection of past and recent works. Begum draws inspiration both from the city environment and her own childhood memories of the geometric patterns of traditional Islamic art and architecture. Thus, properties of light, colour, material, movement and form have become a hallmark of her abstract sculptures and reliefs. Often bringing a potentially infinite order to her works, Begum skilfully gives physical form to fleeting moments of aesthetic wonder. To sum up- the works are an absolute delight!
This summer artist Imran Qureshi presented an interesting project. The exhibition ‘After which, I am no more I, and you are no more you’ was presented at Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange in addition to a site-specific commission for Truro Cathedral. As explained by the gallery- the artwork comprises 30,000 sheets of paper, each printed with photographs of a vast floor painting Qureshi created in front of the Aga Khan Museum of Islamic Art in Toronto, depicting green foliage in the form of motifs from Mughal miniature painting. In this work Imran has brought the garden previously created, into the cathedral space in another form – transforming one work into another. For his first major London commission, Qureshi presented ‘Where the Shadows are so Deep’, a series of exquisite miniature paintings, drawing upon The Curve as a motif in this tradition.
It has been an interesting month to note with Pakistani galleries presenting a quick array of exhibitions one after the other. Canvas Gallery showcased a diverse stream of exhibits, from furniture to jewellery and the works of eminent artist Nahid Raza. Sanat Gallery continues with its efforts of supporting younger lesser known talent. It is exciting to see new spaces opening up and adding to our local city scene, Studio 7 which first opened its doors in Dubai has also launched here in Karachi with art workshops for young children led by artist Abdul Jabbar Gul. We wish them success!
Gandhara Art Space launched its second exhibition of their 3 part anniversary series featuring works by Bani Abidi- a show not to be missed! Abidi is a Pakistani contemporary artist, who lives and works between Berlin and Karachi. Her work is included in the collections of MoMA, New York; Tate Modern, London; The British Museum, London ; The Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE ; Guggenheim Museum, New York amongst other collections. Abidi is showing in Karachi after 6 years and has put together a collection of works with a common theme: Karachi. How she believes the city is and seen and felt about. How do its dwellers thrive in it and the nature of their feelings for a place many call home? The works are a collection of work done by Abidi between 2006 and 2016 including a video installation titled ‘Funland — Karachi Series 2’.
The Murree Artists Residency 2016 (held from 13th July to 3rd of August 2016) ended successfully. The final body of work produced by its residents showcased the personal growth of the artists. The residency provided a setup which aids discourse between the artists and the general public. The work was not meant for display up in the confined space of a gallery but rather as an experience that impacts the artist allowing them to break away from the safety of their usual practices and into the arms of the scenic hill side. Suleman Khilji and Sarah Mumtaz have produced autobiographical work and on the other hand artists, Pradeep Thalawath and Seher Naveed have furthered their understanding of the urban city and translated it in accordance with their visual surroundings. The residency also featured a creative workshop with young local children who drew to their hearts content. It is refreshing to see artists interacting and nurturing young minds. Our current issue features an interview with founder Saba Khan, shedding light on the residency and its evolution within the span of two years. Congratulations Saba, on a brilliant residency!
Lahore Biennale Foundation’s on-going projects progressed and developed considerably over the past month. As part of the Intersections (Art in Public Spaces) initiative, ‘Where the Bus Stops’ is a project that has brought together a diverse group of architects and creative individuals for the design of five different Lahore Transport Company (LTC) bus stops along Lahore’s central transport routes. LBF is pleased to announce that the winning designs have been constructed, and the stops have been operational as of this month. Stories We Tell (Aao Sunayein Kahani) continues to inject excitement into various prominent public spaces around the city of Lahore with its regular booth deployments. Recently, from July 14 to 17, the rickshaw-styled story sharing booths were set up at Liberty Market and its surroundings, along with Old Anarkali, Gawalmandi Food Street. The foundation also hosted a three-day workshop from July 17 to 19, on copyrights, intellectual property, and information sharing with reference to art and law in Pakistan, as part of Urbanities, an on-going project in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Pakistan.
Also as part of Urbanities, and in further collaboration with Vasl, the winners of the eight-week artist residency in Karachi and Lahore have been finalised and LBF is looking forward to announcing the names of the selected artists in the upcoming weeks.
The Abraaj Group Art Prize recognises notable artists from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. The Prize is unique in its format, awarding the mid-career, winning artist a major commission based on a proposal (rather than a completed work), plus affording all four (shortlisted) exhibited artists the opportunity to gain recognition at an international level. Mid-career artists from the Middle East, North Africa or South Asia – those that have participated in dynamic exhibitions, and produced significant bodies of work in the past 2-3 years – are invited to apply for The Abraaj Group Art Prize 2017, putting forward proposals for new, imaginative, original works that will define this point in their career. Deadline for proposals is August 11 2016.
It is refreshing to see young creative minds come together and pursue their artistic inclinations. Mandarjazail is a self-initiative collective which wishes to take an experimental approach towards art making by artists from different disciplines who will come together to create artworks inspired by any published pieces of writing available in the public sphere.
FOMMA Trust (Foundation for Museum of Modern Art) looks forward to exciting new shows featuring mixed media collaborations by young artists and photographers. Sign up to our monthly newsletter to stay up to date.
As the summer break draws to an end, heres looking forward to more interesting ventures and the continued progress of the contemporary art scene within the country.
Bye for NOW