"RASHID ARAIN. RETROSPECTIVE" automatic translate
с 8 Марта
по 26 Мая
ул. Крымский Вал, д. 9, стр. 32
Russia’s first retrospective by Rashid Arain (born 1935, Karachi, Pakistan) will introduce viewers to sixty years of intense and varied work by the artist. Rashid Arain deserved the exceptional position of unquestioned authority in art by many years of struggle for justice, both by artistic means, through universal geometric figures, and by political means, through journalism, performances and exhibition projects exposing racism.
The exhibition “Rashid Arain. Retrospective "is divided into six chapters. The first chapter, “The Beginning,” shows the early studies of the artist, made back in Karachi, where, in addition to the skills of an academic drawing, Arain mastered the techniques of post-impressionism. In 1964, the artist moved to London to professionally engage in art. The first sculptures of Arain, presented in the chapter "Geometry and Symmetry", are among the earliest examples of minimalism in Western art. Masterfully using local colors and abstract forms, Arain is inspired by Soviet constructivism and seeks to make art that everyone understands. The artist quickly gained popularity and in 1969 became the first sculptor to receive the prestigious John Murza Prize, awarded to painters.
The 1970s were a time of cultural change for Britain: young artists, musicians, scientists from the former colonies demanded respect for their past and present. Rashid Arain did not stand aside. The chapter "The Awakening of the Political" shows how the artist addressed the problems of racism both within the art world and beyond. Since 1975, Arain begins to actively criticize the situation in the art of Great Britain and in 1977 he collects the multi-media project “Devil Packs”, which criticizes stereotypes about people of the third world, which included performance, video, music and crime chronicles. In 1977, Arain also founded Black Phoenix, a journal dedicated to third world culture and art. He increasingly uses his native language, Urdu, in his writings as a way to tell a personal story and not to dissolve into globalization.
The chapter "The Way to an Integral Statement" introduces the viewer to the works of the 1980s. During this period, Arain for the first time combined poster political motives and minimalism sculpture in the space of a single work. The structures typical of him are combined with the found images from Pakistani journals, cadres of the military chronicles, references to Andy Warhol. Soon, publishing projects distract Arain from art as such. Since the mid-1980s, Arain has been actively developing the “Archival and Information Center for the Visual Arts of African-Asian Peoples”, which exists on a non-commercial basis. In 1987, Arain became the chief editor of the art magazine Third Text, to which a separate chapter, “The Reading Room”, is devoted to the exhibition. In 1989, the artist oversees the “Other Story” exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in London, in which 24 British artists of African, Caribbean and Asian origin took part. Both the Third Text and the Other Story are inspired by the struggle for equality in the art world. Arain is convinced that the descendants of the peoples colonized by the European empires should be inscribed in the historical and artistic canon in accordance with their contribution to the art of modernism, otherwise there can be no question of any history of art.
In the past five years, Arain’s art has been rediscovered throughout the world. Evidence of this is his participation in documenta 14 in Kassel and Athens (2017), the 57th Venice Biennale (2017), as well as personal expositions in the Tate Modern Gallery (London, 2013), Sharjah Art Foundation (UAE, 2014), museums and galleries of Lima (Peru, 2013), Karachi (2014), Dubai (2015), Hong Kong (2015) and Sao Paulo (2016). Against the background of increased interest, the artist makes new works (the chapter “Returning to Sources”), harmoniously combining minimalism, oriental decorativeness and bold colors of Cezanne and Matisse.
All his life, Rashid Arain dreamed of an artistic international - the universal brotherhood of artists, where skin color and position in society are not important. Specially for the Garage Atrium Commissions program, Arain is preparing the sculpture “Ommazh Tatlin”, conceived by him in 1968. Paying tribute to the history of the Russian avant-garde, Arain turns to the “Monument of the Third International” Vladimir Tatlin, in which he sees a reason for his own statement. Simplifying the shape of the tower, the artist emphasizes the universality of its structure.
In addition, in the last weeks of the exhibition, the Garage Museum will present the previously unrealized performance of Arain “Disco Sail” (1970s) - a unique combination of geometric abstraction and qigong gymnastics practice.
The exhibition coincides with the publication of a collection of texts by the artist, which will cover several decades of his literary-critical work and will include the most famous works, including “Preliminary Notes to the Black Manifesto” (1975–1976) and “Eco-Aesthetics. Manifesto for the XXI century "(2008–2010).
Within the framework of the exhibition “Rashid Arain. Retrospective ”on the mezzanine of the Museum will present the Atlas of Culture project of the artist and researcher Wali Makhluji, a panorama of the intellectual history of the twentieth century, reflecting the artistic, political, ethical and spiritual processes in the countries of the global South world, sometimes ahead of her or determining its development.
The exhibition “Rashid Arain. Retrospective ”was first shown in the Van Abbe Museum (Eindhoven, the Netherlands).