Anwar Jalal Shemza: Various Works (1961–1969) | Making New Time | Sharjah Biennial 14

Hales Gallery is delighted to announce the inclusion of 13 works by Anwar Jalal Shemza in Making New TIme, curated by Omar Kholeif, part of the Sharjah Biennial 14The presentation surveys Shemza's diverse influences during this transitional period and the decisively modern diasporic perspective examined through the prism of both Islamic and Western aesthetics. Drawn broadly and deeply from his surroundings, these works reflect the influence of carpet patterns, calligraphic forms, the Mughal architecture of Lahore and the rural landscape of Stafford, England. The works also elaborate on Western modernism’s interest in geometry and abstraction seen in the work of artists Paul Klee, Piet Mondria, and Wassily Kandinsky. For the artist, the circle and the square held special places in his art practice. As he inscribed in Urdu script on the surface of a painting from this period, ‘One circle, one square, one problem: one life is not enough to solve it.’ 


Omar Kholeif's Making New Time is a provocation. It seeks to show how material culture can be reimagined through the lenses of artists whose political agency, activism and astute observations encourage us to extend the limits of our beliefs. It considers how economies have formed around technological culture, how narrative is created and deconstructed, and how these forces of change enable a reconstitution, or indeed a restitution, of a history lost or even unknown. Drifting in and out of hegemonies and entrenched structures of power, here the sensorial and the bodily intertwine, becoming archaeological sediments in the landscape of Sharjah and imploring viewers to consider their complicity in a world that is forever slipping away.


Organised by Sharjah Art Foundation, the Sharjah Biennial fosters international artistic exchange and dialogue through exhibitions and experimentation. Since 1993, the Sharjah Biennial has commissioned, produced and presented large-scale public installations, performances and films by artists from around the world, bringing a broad range of contemporary art cultural programmes and cultural producers to the communities of Sharjah, the UAE and the region. Sharjah Biennial 14 (SB14) will be held in March 2019, and the curators are Zoe Butt, Omar Kholeif and Claire Tancons.


Anwar Jalal Shemza 

Various Works (1961-1969) 

Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber


7 March – 10 June 2019 


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March 13, 2019