8 January 2024–31 August 2024

Every Color is a Shade of Black by Hamra Abbas

Curated by Lawrie Shabibi

Alserkal Avenue

Starts 8 January 2024

Ends 31 August 2024

Venue Alserkal Avenue


Hamra Abbas has developed the concept “Every Color is a Shade of Black” over several years, starting with ‘Kaaba Picture as a Misprint’ (2014). She used cyan, magenta, and yellow (CMYK) to create black, symbolising the identity of the revered Islamic site, the Kaaba.⁠⁠

Abbas remembers thinking to herself, “If the three primary colors can create black, and the same primary colors in various combinations can create all the other colors, then one can surely conclude that every color is a shade of black”. ⁠

⁠Through this framework Abbas was able to connect various bodies of her work with the central theme of color: color as faith and ideology, color as race and identity, color as desire and beauty, color as gender and personal relationships. ⁠

About Hamra Abbas

Hamra Abbas received formal training in sculpture and Indo-Persian style of miniature painting at the National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan. She lives and works between Boston and Islamabad. Abbas’ work has been exhibited at Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the Manchester Art Gallery, UK, Asia Society Triennial, New York (2020), Sharjah Biennial (2009) and other internationally established institutions.

About Lawrie Shabibi:

Lawrie Shabibi was founded in 2010 and opened its doors in early 2011 in Alserkal Avenue. The gallery initially exhibited works by emerging contemporary artists from the Middle East and North Africa. Over the last five years, Lawrie Shabibi expanded to include artists from other regions and generations known for artworks exploring identity, memory, history and socio-political issues specific to the diasporic experience.

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