Anwar Jalal Shemza: Paintings from the 1960s
10th May - 23rd June 2018
Hales Gallery, London
Hales Gallery is delighted to announce Paintings from the 1960s, a solo exhibition of works by Anwar Jalal Shemza (1928 – 85). The exhibition focuses on paintings from early-mid 1960s, created in the decade following Shemza’s relocation from Pakistan to the UK.
Born in Simla, India in 1928 to Kashmiri and Punjabi parents, Shemza attended Mayo School of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan. In 1956, already an established artist and writer in his home land, he relocated to England to study at the Slade School of Fine Art. This move marked a significant change in the artist’s life and practice. Astonished at a statement by famed art historian E.H. Gombrich, who characterised Islamic art as purely ‘functional’ in one of his lectures attended by Shemza, the artist abandoned his previous work and embarked on a journey to create a dramatically different style and visual language.
The bold abstractions in Paintings from the 1960s represent this pivotal development for the artist, whose unique diasporic perspective allowed him to explore modernism through the double prism of Islamic and Western aesthetics. Throughout his career, Shemza’s visual vocabulary drew on an array of deeply studied and lived experience, from carpet patterns and calligraphic forms to the environments around him: Mughal architecture from Lahore to the rural landscapes of Stafford in England. *
*Text Cited from Hales Gallery Website
Speech Acts: Reflection, Imagination and Repetition
Manchester Art Gallery
Curated by Hammad Nasar and Kate Jesson
25th May 2018 - 22nd April 2019
What stories emerge to frame the visitor’s encounters with the art that they see, and cloak the art that they don’t? How do these stories change over time?
Through the work of more than 40 artists, Speech Acts: Reflection-Imagination- Repetition considers how public museums reflect and shape our collective imagination, and examines how exhibitions can affect these shared narratives. This exhibition shows how artworks can nurture new stories if they are shown in ways beyond the limited frames of biography and identity.
Comprising more than 70 works and archival documents ranging from the 18th to the 21st century, Speech Acts is drawn primarily from four public collections: Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bradford, John Rylands Library (The University of Manchester), Manchester Art Gallery and the Whitworth. It has been developed as part of, and in conversation with Black Artists and Modernism: a three-year research project led by University of the Arts London in collaboration with Middlesex University and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. *
*Text Cited from Manchester Art Gallery Website
Kamrooz Aram, Anwar Shemza
24th January - 25th February 2018
Hales Project Room New York
Hales Gallery is pleased to announce Kamrooz Aram, Anwar Jalal Shemza, an exhibition to be presented at the Hales Project Room, New York. This project at 64 Delancey Street coincides with Aram’s solo exhibitions at Atlanta Contemporary (open January 2018) and The Modern Fort Worth (open March 2018). In Spring 2018, Hales Gallery London will hold a solo exhibition of works by Anwar Jalal Shemza.
The present exhibition pulls into dialogue the work of two artists—Kamrooz Aram (b. Iran, 1978) and Anwar Jalal Shemza (b. India, 1928 – 1985)—concerned with the relationship between ornamental art and modernist abstractions. In the works selected for this exhibition, form and process both contribute to the investigation of the line drawn between “art” and “ornament.” And by juxtaposing two generations of artists, the works feed into rich investigations of the historical patterns of artistic development, erasure, and abstraction.*
Read a review of the exhibition on Art Forum here.
*Text and image cited from Hales Gallery website
Hales Gallery at the Armory Show 2018, New York
8th - 11th March 2018
Hales Gallery is proud to announce its participation in The Armory Show 2018, with an international presentation of work by five artists whose work, spanning the past five decades and reflecting the vision of the gallery’s own programme, explores questions of politics and aesthetics through powerful expressions of material, geometry and colour.
Pakistani-born Anwar Jalal Shemza created his square and circle composition series in 1963, just a few years after moving to London in 1956 and abandoning a career as an established figurative painter. These bold abstractions represent a pivotal moment for Shemza, whose unique perspective allowed him to merge his deep understanding of Western geometry and Islamic aesthetics to create his own irreducible images. In Shemza’s words: ‘One circle, one square, one problem, one life is not enough to solve it.' *
*Text and image cited from Hales Gallery website
South Asian Modernists 1953-63
Curated by Amrita Jhaveri
The Whitworth Manchester
30th September 2017 - 15th April 2018
South Asian Modernists explores the works of Pakistani and Indian artists who worked with Victor Musgrave between 1953-63.
Musgrave ran the experimental Gallery One space where South Asia’s most eminent modernists artists were exhibited. Amongst the most important exhibitions held was Seven Indian Painters in Europe (1958) which received critical acclaim and introduced Indian artists to the British market. This exhibition at the Whitworth reflects the pioneering efforts of Musgrave across the decade to introduce South Asian Modernists. Drawing exclusively on works from the 1953-63 period and capturing the creative atmosphere of the time.
The exhibition includes works by S H Raza, Akbar Padamsee, Tyeb Mehta, Paritosh Sen, Avinash Chandra, Anwar Jalal Shemza, Francis Newton Souza, Ram Kumar, Laxman Pai, M F Husain and Mohan Samant. Alongside the paintings on display are works on paper and archival material, such as exhibition catalogues and photographs by the renowned photographer Ida Kar, Musgrave’s wife at the time.
The exhibition is co-curated with Amrita Jhaveri, an expert in Modern and Contemporary Indian art, gallerist, author and collector. Works are kindly being lent by both public and private collections, including the Hepworth Wakefield, Grosvenor Gallery, Leicestershire County Council, The Ruth Borchard Collection c/o Piano Nobile and Lincoln College, Oxford.