Abu Dhabi Art

21 Nov – 23 Nov 2019

Jhaveri Contemporary is pleased to exhibit works by Pakistani artist Ali Kazim. Best known for his enigmatic portraits and explorations of the human body, Kazim, in this recent body of work, draws upon the landscape outside of Lahore. Once a part of the flourishing Indus Valley Civilisation (circa 3000 BCE to 1500 BCE), the now desolate landscape is dotted with ancient burial mounds, strewn with terracotta shards from a distant past. Today, this rich archaeological site lies neglected and is used as a burial site for the local community.

Using a restrained palette and dramatic shifts in scale, Kazim maps the contours of this ancient land, whilst simultaneously zooming into a careful observation of pottery shards that lie on its surface. In Ratti Tibbi (2017-2018), Kazim relies upon his preferred medium of watercolour, which he uses in a personal, highly idiosyncratic way—applying layers of pigment onto textured paper before washing the paper in a shallow bath. Each wash removes as well as fixes the colour, giving his works a depth and texture belying the transparency for which watercolour is best known. 

In stark contrast to the unchanging landscape is the constantly changing weather pattern of the Punjab plains. Billowing dust clouds and startling atmospheric transformations that appear before the onset of the monsoon are carefully observed in the Storm series. Several works in this series are made using dry pigment on mylar.  The complete absence of visible brushstrokes captures, paradoxically, the intense ‘presentness’ of the region’s weather, with its rapid movement and mutability. 

Interspersed through the presentation will be Ali Kazim’s classic portraits, which he has been painting since the 2000s. Carefully observed, like the pottery shards,  Kazim embeds the human presence into the landscape,  fusing his past preoccupations with current ones.

Download complete list of works here