25 Sep – 03 Nov 2012
We Like It Here, We're Not Moving
Alexander Gorlizki’s art draws on a wide and varied range of sources, from Eastern and Western iconographies and historical references to a keen scrutiny of commonplace objects. This crosscurrent of influences surfaces in precise, mesmersingly detailed works on paper that reveal the artist’s longstanding obsession with Indian miniature painting. Collaboration is central to Gorlizki’s practice. He established an atelier of miniature painters with master painter Riyaz Uddin 18 years ago and has also worked with embroiderers, shoemakers, stone carvers, bronze-casters, spectacle-makers and forgers, applying traditional skills and methodologies to his own visual language.
Gorlizki’s compositions move between geometric abstraction and whimsical narrative scenes that incorporate such diverse elements as Uzbek textiles, Etruscan sculpture, designs from 1940s American advertising and Syrian ceramics. Forgery and ambiguity play a part too, as antique papers are often used as a backdrop to traditional representational images grounded within a flattened contemporary and modernistic plane.
Once the works are designed, single-hair-tipped brushes are used to apply jewel-coloured pigments, stone colours, gouaches and gold leaf with spellbinding exactitude. The result is an elegant balance between contemplative intimacy and formal rigour, blurring the lines between crafts, drawing and painting.