Art Dubai Modern 2017

15 Mar – 18 Mar 2017

Jhaveri Contemporary presents a conversation between Anwar Jalal Shemza (1928–1985 ) and Zahoor ul Akhlaq (1941–1999). Both artists were born in India, migrated to Pakistan, studied in England and are well-known for their significant contributions to the history of art in South Asia. Shemza was a modernist whereas Zahoor’s work grapples with postmodern practices of hybridity and pluralism. The stand will include works made over a period of almost 40 years, exploring both artists’ distillation of nature into art.

Throughout Shemza’s career, his interest in objectivity, geometry and pure abstraction was balanced by his interest in the organic, curvilinear forms of nature. Shemza was a keen gardener and nature became an outlet for his emotional and psychological needs. His delicate drawing of plant forms from 1957 and his playful paintings of apple trees from the 1964 and 1970 are presented alongside a rare Roots painting from 1984, which expresses the artist’s longing to return to Pakistan after spending the majority of his life in England.

Zahoor ul Akhlaq’s use of the grid, calligraphic elements and tropes from the miniature tradition were mined from Islamic and local cultural sources, which he incorporated into his stylistic and intellectual framework. His planar colour fields or windows baskets of flowers and autumn leaves draw upon Reinhardt and Newman. He returns to the theme of nature in Still Still Life from 1995. The works of both artists will be presented in a salon style display to demonstrate how nature provided a new guiding principle in which form was derived from natural geometry.