28 February 2023–30 April 2023

Sayed Haider Raza | Janine Mongillat

Curated by Catherine David

Part of Alserkal Art Week

Janine Mongillat follows her own artistic road which is in a permanent dialogue with Raza's conception and artworks.

Starts 28 February 2023

Ends 30 April 2023

Venue 1x1 Art Gallery

Warehouse 10

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S H Raza experimented with a number of Modernist styles, but it’s probably his works in Abstract Expressionism and, later, Geometric Abstraction, for which he is most famous. What remained constant throughout his career, however, was his engagement with nature and the landscape, and his mastery of colour, which he deployed in variously rich combinations.

In the early years in France, he continued to experiment with currents of Western Modernism moving from Expressionist modes towards greater abstraction and eventually incorporating elements of Tantrism from Indian scriptures.

After the introduction of 'Bindu' (a point or the source of energy), he added newer dimensions to his thematic oeuvre in the following decades, with the inclusion of themes around the Tribhuj (Triangle), which bolstered Indian concepts of space and time, as well as that of 'prakriti-purusha' (the female and the male energy), his transformation from an expressionist to a master of abstraction and profundity was complete.

Janine Mongillat follows her own artistic road which is in a permanent dialogue with Raza's conception and artworks. Through her works, she forms her own obscure poetic universe, a mythical personal universe which awakes a nightmarish sensuality and an elegiac primitivism. A transcendent and transformative power is revealed by responding to an abstraction of "art brut", defined as a "creative activity of mediums, visionaries, enlightened people, therefore an expression of extreme impulses, which can go as far as hallucination or delirium". In her sculptures and collages, Mongillat has succeeded in extracting the most unexpected and original effects from the most diverse materials brought together by colour. She combines separate elements of all kinds, such as pieces of newspaper, wood shavings, kraft paper, used tea bags, jute, cord, metal and various objects like toys’ fragments.

Art historian and curator Catherine David is deputy director of the Musée national d’Art moderne (MNAM) and head of the Research and Globalisation department at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, where she has spearheaded an internationally diverse programme.