20 Nov – 22 Dec 2012
Hamra Abbas’ practice is remarkable for its fluidity in ideas, fidelity to personal vision and technical mastery of diverse mediums, whether sculpture, painting, photography, video or installation. Abbas works at both miniature and monumental scales, often simultaneously, with abstract forms, super-realistic imagery and works made in a more cartoonish, Pop vein – a nod to artists Jeff Koons and Takashi Murakami, whom she has acknowledged as influences.
With subject matter as varied as her aesthetic strategies, Abbas draws upon culturally loaded imagery and iconography to examine questions of conflict within society, often appropriating traditional motifs and styles.
Portraiture is the subject of Idols, along with the themes of home, displacement and ‘the everyday’ that have recurred across her practice over the years. Miniature and monumental portraits coexist in this exhibition, marrying formal emphasis and elegance based in classic techniques with more expressionist overtones. It is this versatility, this union of beauty and conceptual intelligence, that we celebrate in Abbas' Indian solo debut.