The Raqib Shaw art is known for evoking the work of Old Masters. His stunning artworks are often characterized by detailed paintings of imagined paradises, inlaid with vibrantly colored jewels and enamel. Indeed, his art translates the art of the Old Masters to the “visual language” of contemporary art. White Cube Bermondsey is organizing the exhibition of the latest works by this great artist that is entitled Self Portraits. This exhibition will include paintings based on Old Masters from London’s National Gallery and the Prado Museum in Madrid. In addition, the visitors of the exhibition will see new bronze sculptures which evoke the style and methods of the Renaissance Mannerist period.
Raqib Shaw is a Kashmiri-born and London-based artist probably best-known for the merging the art heritage of the eastern and western traditions. In addition, his paintings are marked by the artist’s own imagination. Shaw is currently based in Peckham, London, while his artworks have been exhibited in the most renowned art spaces across the globe. The pieces that will be exhibited at White Cube Bermondsey are largely influenced by the Old Masters of the 15th, 16th and 17th Century. Actually, Shaw is borrowing compositions from artists such as Girolamo Mocetto, Ludovico Mazzolino, Antonello da Messina, Carlo Crivelli, Marcello Venusti, Jan Gossaert and Hendrick van Steenwyck the Younger. In the ten paintings that will be exhibited at White Cube, Raqib transposes and transforms the religious settings of the original paintings with images of his Peckham studio, adding to the compositions the landscape of his childhood home in Kashmir, Hindu iconography, as well as Japanese decorative arts and architecture. However, Shaw appears as the main protagonist in these paintings - playing the joker, mime artist, or even the ghoul lying in a coffin.
One of the paintings that will be exhibited at White Cube is Self Portrait in the Sculpture Studio at Peckham (After Mocetto), 2015-2016. In this composition, the artist appears at the center of the composition. Similarly, the artist’s work Garden of Earthly Delights is inspired by Hieronymous Bosch's 15th century visionary triptych. Here Shaw creates an eco-system inhabited by figures such as phallus-headed birds, bug-eyed butterfly catchers. The majority of his paintings are combination of reality and phantasy, a dialectic relationship between heaven and hell, eroticism and restraint, transgression and punishment. When it comes to the sculptures, Shaw’s bronze works evoke Mannerist sculptures, while the artist executes the sculptures the same way as Renaissance masters used to do. They are small in scale, but depict complex, stylized forms such as hybrid animal figures and centaurs which are sinuous in shape and erotically intertwined.
The Raqib Shaw Self Portraits exhibition at White Cube is the first solo exhibition in London since 2011. The show is also the most autobiographical series of works to date. Beautiful compositions mixing European Old Masters traditions with Eastern elements are perfectly matched with artist’s own imagery. Probably one of the most notable contemporary artists of our time, Raqib Shaw is coming to the White Cube with extraordinary paintings and sculptures that perfectly combine European Old Masters’ tradition with the artist’s own imagery. The show will be on view from July 13 until September 11, 2016 at White Cube Bermondsey, London. The public preview is scheduled for July 12, 6-8pm.
Featured Image: Raqib Shaw - Self Portrait in the Study at Peckham, after Vincenzo Catena (Kashmir version), 2015 (to be confirmed). Acrylic and enamel on birchwood, 39 3/8 x 51 3/16 in. (100 x 130 cm). © Raqib Shaw. Photo © Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd Courtesy White Cube. All Images courtesy of White Cube.
London, United Kingdom