Bait Muzna Gallery, Oman

13 – 28 MAR 2019

‘Rites of Passage’ interprets artist Rashid Khalifa’s artistic oeuvre by considering the interconnectedness of styles that define certain periods.

Beginning with landscape painting in the ’70s and continuing on to minimalistic, parametric structures that Rashid has exhibited most recently, his vast body of work has seen distinct shifts in style and varied use of mediums. However, the recurrence of certain sentiments resonates throughout.

Matte, aluminum installations from 2012 onwards, recall his desert landscapes from the ’70s, whereby the shadows cast by the soft desert light in these early landscape paintings, reawaken decades later in his minimalistic dunes and eclipses. Mirrored pieces from the 2010’s, call to mind the reflective, fluidity of water and the susceptibility of Bahrain’s desert wadis, a regular feature of his paintings from the ’80s. Feminine, wispy and emotive forms of the ’80s and ’90s, transpire in his lustrous lacquer paintings that began in the late 2000’s, only to reemerge a decade later in his immaculate enamel rose series. The symmetry, geometric precision and bold hues of color that define his most recent parametric forms are reminiscent of both his interest in the functionality of traditional Bahraini architecture, as well as the manner in which these repetitive elemental structures react with their natural environment.

Despite experimenting with varying materials and developing distinct styles over the years, Rashid’s desire to simultaneously explore his heritage and his relationship to his immediate environment, has endured throughout his artistic practice. Essentially, the undercurrent that resonates throughout this exhibition is in many ways, reflective of the consciousness of the artist, his multifaceted nature and of particular transitional periods in his life.