Mohammad Ali Talpur, Alif
Green Cardamom, London
29 June - 27 July, 2012
Tuesday to Friday, 12pm to 6pm
b. 1976, Hyderabad, Pakistan. Lives and works in Lahore, Pakistan
‘Alif’, meaning ‘to compose’ in Arabic; is the initial letter in the Arabic, Farsi and Urdu alphabets; and, is the first letter in the name Allah. It also alludes to the idea of the first and last existence: awwal and aakhir (first and last); ibtidaa and intihaa (beginning and the end). The use of this spiritually significant textual symbol to underpin this body of work is, to Talpur, “the ultimate expression of life”. ‘Alif’ marks a turning point for his practice, which has long focused on an exploration of the line and a desire to make “art without content”.
Talpur has taken calligraphy as his inspiration. By repeating a character, a calligraphic stroke and even the pronunciation markers (zer, zabar, pesh) across the page, he creates an introspective quality to the work. They cannot be ‘read’, but they do nevertheless communicate a sense of reflection and peace, as if the repeating symbols were a form of prayer or meditation. Alif can also be seen as a beginning, the start of a new journey for the artist in his on-going investigation of line and form.
The work can also be read as a visual response to notions of rhythm and metre, integral to music and poetry: both strong influences for the artist, but also intertwined with the Sufism-inflected version of Islam practiced in his native province of Sindh.
‘See Saw’ (2011) is a video work that shows the artist winking slowly from one eye to the other. Just as the works on paper offer a moment of calm and reflection, ‘See Saw’ uses a similarly simple visual language to slow down time and create a moment of pause.
Note to Editors
Mohammad Ali Talpur’s ‘Alif’ is the final exhibition in Green Cardamom’s London gallery programme, which closes formally at the end of August.
Details of all public projects, exhibitions, publications and the gallery programme will be available on the website in due course. Further enquiries from 1 September can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mohammad Ali Talpur
Mohammad Ali Talpur, born 1976. Lives and works in Lahore, Pakistan. He graduated from Lahore’s National College of Arts with a BFA in 1998.
Solo exhibitions include Art + Public, Geneva (2009); Green Cardamom at Gallery:Space, London (2007); ‘Best of Discovery’, ShContemporary/Green Cardamom, Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair, Shanghai (2007); Canvas Gallery, Karachi (2007); Zahoor ul Akhlaq Gallery, Lahore (2004).
Group exhibitions include ‘Narratives of the Self’, Gallery Espace, New Delhi (2012); ‘Drawn from Life’, A Green Cardamom Project, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal (2011); ‘Fatah Jay Aassay Paassay’, A Green Cardamom Project, VM Gallery, Karachi and Sindh Museum, Hyderabad (2010); ‘The Rising Tide: new Directions in Art from Pakistan 1990-2010’, Mohatta Palace Museum, Karachi (2010); ‘Resemble:Reassemble’, Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi (2010); ‘Mashq: Repetition, Meditation, Mediation’, Green Cardamom, London (2009); ‘Drawn from Life: Drawing Process’, Green Cardamom, London (2008); ‘Let’s Draw a Line’, Chakwandi Gallery, Karachi (2008); ‘Orients San Frontieres’, Espace Louise Vuitton, Paris (2008); ‘Punctured and Unravelled’, Green Cardamom, London (2007); ‘Three Person Show’, Canvas Art Gallery, Karachi (2006).
To see a clip of the video See Saw click here