OPERA GALLERY DUBAI
24 NOVEMBER – 31 DECEMBER 2021
24 NOVEMBER – 31 DECEMBER 2021
Opera Gallery showcases the latest curations from Rashid Bin Khalifa of the Bahraini royal family. Located at the heart of Downtown Dubai, at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Rashid Bin Khalifa continues to explore the myriad dynamics of light and colors that are characteristic of Bahrain’s geographical and cultural diversity.
The Spectrum series considers the ‘rules of repetition’ in Islamic Art, one of the most important aesthetic principles of Islamic architecture. The frequency and repetition of a shape in Islamic art creates the illusion of infinity, whereby the frame that holds the pattern is incidental: the symmetrical pattern continues beyond the bounds of the frame. Harmony arises from this state of infinitude, thus, Spectrum takes such principles and contemporizes them by playing on structural attributes that are also reminiscent of contemporary Arab architecture.
For his Parametrics series, Rashid takes in the prevalence of Islamic patterns as design elements established throughout contemporary Bahraini culture. The rhythmic, linear, and foliage arabesques represent the spiritual attributes of the natural environment, were often incorporated in the mashrabiya, a distinguishing feature of Middle Eastern architecture. A typical projecting oriel window, enclosed with a carved wooden latticework on the second, a higher story of a building, has an original purpose of ensuring privacy for the occupants to be able to see out but not be seen from outside, whilst also providing shade and protection from the searing heat and allowing a breeze to pass through. These works recreates his experience of Parametrics serie (from 2018 onwards) that are built on contrasts and ostensibly opposing yet complementary forces – positive and negative, light and dark, interior and exterior – representing the artist’s research of order and symmetry.
Focusing on the concept of simplicity, Rashid welcomes the challenge of creating the forms that were stripped of detail, whereby the whole image would elicit a sense of peace and satisfaction. Robust and strong, aluminium provides Rashid with a perfectly unscathed surface on which to apply his matt enamel paints. By excluding the pictorial and fictive aspect of his narrative in favor of literal and sculptural concerns, Rashid is a creator of objects, searching for that balance between positive (or non-white space) and the use of negative spaces in his Hybrid series.
About Rashid Al Khalifa
Born in 1952 in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Rashid Al Khalifa held his first solo exhibition at the Dilmun Hotel, Bahrain, in 1970 when he was just 18 years old. Later on, Rashid moved to the UK in 1972 to study at the Hastings College of Arts and Technology in Sussex. The artist’s vital decision to merge elements of his figurative and landscape works in the late 1980s was one of the major milestones in his painting practices.
Currently, Rashid’s experiments lie in the interaction of lights and colors to further inform his bold interpretations of his cultural heritage. Through splendidly commanding structures, comprising meticulous forms and complex designs, Rashid’s art practice stands as a contemporary tribute to traditional Middle Eastern design and architecture.
About Opera Gallery
Founded in 1994 with exhibition spaces in Singapore and Paris by French art dealer Gilles Dyan, Opera Gallery Group is today comprised of twelve galleries worldwide with additional locations in London, Geneva, Monaco, Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, Dubai, Beirut, Miami, New York and most recently in Aspen. Since its inception, the gallery has presented a program of major modern and contemporary works by predominately established artists, showcasing its expansive collection of works in dialogue with a contemporary visual language. Realized through an annual program of exhibitions, each gallery promotes a cross-cultural exchange of modern and contemporary artists supported in annual exhibitions and art fairs programs.
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