Spectrum V

Rashid Al Khalifa is considered to be one of the most accomplished artists in Bahrain and, from his immense body of work, a selection of current artworks will be presented at Gallery Hotel Mond Fine Arts at Contemporary Istanbul from October 5th to October 10th 2021. Besides a few selection of his series Hybrids, Spectrum and Parametrics his contribution will mainly consist of new works, which are site-specifically designed for the space of the booth. They refer to a current technique Rashid Al Khalifa developed and consists of aluminium grid-structures. Through the viewer’s movement, the appearance of the works change in color, shape and light.

Rashid Al Khalifa is working with grid patterns that has a tremendous cultural background in his country, but he does this in a very abstract way. An important subject in Rashids work is the light. The grid-structures let through light, but also build a barrier. They change while the viewer passes by them and create patterns of shadow.

Born in 1952 in the Kingdom of Bahrain Rashid Al Khalifa began his career at an early stage when he painted landscapes in Bahrain and in England, where he went in 1972 to study at the Hastings College of Arts and Technology in Sussex. Through landscapes painting he understood the importance of light which became the main concern of his most recent work : make light experienceable.

Spectrum VI - Right View

“On my return to Bahrain from England in 1978 I was preoccupied with painting desert landscapes that exemplified the beautiful luminosity and mysterious spacial effects” Rashid said in an interview. In these early years he sticked to painting, experimented, tried out different techniques until he finally became disengaged from a naturalistic style in favour of abstract compositions. In this phase his attention was attracted to the play of colors and to their effect. After remaining true to the two-dimensional, the flat plane for a while, he broke through the framework of what was up-to-now. His work moved from the two-dimensional to the three-dimensional. They bulged forth from the wall and grew into the room. Towards the end of the 1990’s Rashid discovered the convex form for his own use.

The engagement with the convex form inspired Rashid Al Khalifa to incorporate materials other than canvas and paint. He began to use steel and aluminium . He works on the picture plane in its entirety, covers it with a complex filigreed, three dimensional network of lines, thus transforming it into a vibrating medium of light and space. Colour is added to many of these works. Rashid Al Khalifas objects consider also the „rules of repetition“, one of the most important principles of Islamic art. Because of their consistent, gridded structures and the selected substances, his objects suggest Minimalistic aesthetic with an austere seriality. Despite his vast vocabulary covering contemporary conceptions of design, Rashid is tied to the tradition of his origins and his culture and always returns to these longstanding influences and impressions.

Rashid has participated in a number of group and solo exhibitions, at major public and private instituions including MeCollector’s Room, Berlin, Germany, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK, Ayyam Gallery, Dubai, UAE or the Bahrain National Museum, Kingdom of Bahrain. His work is held in notable private collectiosn in Bahrain and internationally (text: Karin von Roques, curator)

Spectrum VII - Left View