Spotlight Display at Tate Britain
12th October 2015 - Autumn 2016
A selection of works by Anwar Shemza is currently exhibited at Tate Britain in a spotlight room display from the 12th October 2015 - Autumn 2016.
Curated by Leyla Fakhr, the display will showcase many of Shemza's paintings, rare archival material and ceramics.
"Anwar Jalal Shemza (1928–85) moved to London in 1956, leaving an established career as a writer and painter in Lahore, Pakistan. In Britain Shemza abandoned his illustrative and figurative approach and developed vigorous compositions that fused calligraphy and aspects of Islamic architecture with Western abstraction. He repeatedly revisited subjects, including the walls and gates of Lahore, the Arabic letter ‘Meem’, and plant roots. His last series of work directly related to notions of belonging in the Pakistani diaspora."*
Aphra Shemza, the artist's granddaughter, is currently doing tours of the display, please contact the Estate for more information, private tours are available.
Please click here to view a gallery of installation images of the display.
For information please click here.
* text cited from Tate website
Anwar Shemza Panel Discussion
Tate Britain, In the exhibition
Friday 11th March 2016, 18.30-20.00
An intimate evening of conversation and reflection on the work of pioneering painter Anwar Shemza, who moved from Lahore to Britain in 1956. Taking place within the Shemza display at Tate Britain, this discussion, chaired by Amna Malik (UCL) features panellists including artist Aphra Shemza and Iftikhar Dadi (Cornell), editor of the recent Shemza monograph and artist Shezad Dawood. How did Shemza’s experience of migration and diaspora affect his painting? What was his relationship with the work of other artists of his era? Where can his influence be found today?
Followed by a drinks reception.
With support from the Estate of Anwar Jalal Shemza and Jhaveri Contemporary.*
To view some images of the event please click here.
For more information about the event please click here.
* text cited from Tate website
Amrita Jhaveri on Anwar Jalal Shemza
The Courtauld Institute of Art
3rd March, 18.00-20.00, 2016
Anwar Jalal Shemza moved from Pakistan to London in 1956 to study at the Slade School of Fine Art. Already an established artist and a published author, Shemza struggled to find a language that would reflect his new realities. He abandoned his figurative, illustrative approach for one that fused Islamic motifs with western abstraction. Shemza worked on a small number of themes, creating large series and often revisiting subjects as varied as the architecture of Lahore, the game of Chess, and the Arabic letter Meem. Jhaveri’s talk will examine Shemza’s struggles during his early years in London, the relative isolation in which his work developed, his unique contribution and the recent embrace of his work by British institutions in an attempt to tell a more inclusive history of British Art.
Amrita Jhaveri has been working in the field of Modern and Contemporary Indian art since 1993. She established Christie’s presence in India in the mid-1990s before moving to London in 2000. As an independent advisor, Jhaveri has created and managed private and corporate art collections; ambitious artist projects and large-scale commissions. In 2010, Jhaveri established Jhaveri Contemporary in Mumbai, where the gallery programme is both intergenerational and transnational. Jhaveri is the author of 101: A Guide to 101 Modern and Contemporary Indian Artists (India Book House, 2005).
For more information please click here.
* text cited from the Courtauld Institute's website
Dhaka Art Summit 2016
5th - 8th February 2016
Dhaka Art Summit, 2016 introduces a historical section, Rewind, which will highlight practices of South Asian artists active before 1980, curated by the Samdani Art Foundation along with a team including Beth Citron (Rubin Museum), Sabih Ahmed (Asia Art Archive) and Amara Antilla (Guggenheim). Many of the works in Rewind will come from the Bangladesh National Collection and Private collections from the region, and many will be exhibited for the first time in over 20 years.
Some of the artists included are Lionel Wendt, Anwar Jalal Shemza, Nalini Malani, Monika Correa, Rashid Choudhury, Saifuddin Ahmed, Akbar Padamsee (with Ashim Ahluwalia) SM Sultan, Zahoor ul Akhlaq, Germaine Krull, Arpita Singh, Bagyi Aung Soe and Krishna Reddy.
An article about Shemza will be published in this seasons edition of Tate etc. to accompany the display at Tate Britain.
'Aphra Shemza on the life and work of Anwar Shemza,' gives the reader an overview of Shemza's career and why his work is still so important to contemporary artist's, like herself, today. The text is accompanied by some never before seen archival imagery and some full colour images of the work.
For more information please click here.
To see Aphra Shemza's website please click here.
Anwar Jalal Shemza Monograph to be published October 2015
With the generous support from the Rangoonwala Foundation, Jhaveri Contemporary and the Shemza Estate we have produced the first Monograph on Shemza.
Published by Riding House (London) the book consists of over 120 illustrations of works and rare archival material, with a text by Iftikhar Dadi which provides an overview of his career alongside essays by Shezad Dawood, Rachel Garfield, Courtney J Martin and Hammad Nasar that offer perspectives on his work, contemporary reception and influence on a younger generation.
To order a copy of the book, please click here.
For more information please click here.
Jhaveri Contemporary, Gallery 83, London
Anwar Jalal Shemza: Paper | Print | Collage
8th - 13th June 2015
The Shemza Estate are very pleased to have a solo exhibition of Shemza's works, many of which have never been exhibited before. Along with a very well curated selection of etchings the gallerists have also hung two of Shemza's early drawings which really set the scene for the works to come. There are also two very rare works made in wood, a roots pyrography and a work entitled 'Sun and the Sea.'
The exhibition runs from the 8th - 13th June 2015.
For more information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Talk: Calligraphic Abstraction
Give by Iftikhar Dadi
14th March 2015
Saturday University—Crossing the Indian Ocean: Asia/Africa Connections
Calligraphic Abstraction. Modern Art in Asia, the Middle East and Africa
This ground-breaking series explores historic relationships between Eastern Africa and Asia that developed through migration, trade, the spread of Islam, and more. How have new networks developed in the past century through alliances of newly independent nations, and contemporary China’s deep involvement in Africa?
In the post World War II era, the political decolonization of Asia and Africa was accompanied by new aesthetic developments. Artists from North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia reworked Arabic calligraphic motifs in entirely new ways, by bringing its form in productive dialogue with transnational modernism and abstraction.
Iftikhar Dadi, Associate Professor of Art History and Chair of Art Department, Cornell University, is an artist and art historian broadly interested in the relation between art practice in the contexts of globalization, urbanization, and mediatization. He has authored numerous scholarly works, including the recent book Modernism and the Art of Muslim South Asia. Curatorial activities include Lines of Control at Duke University's Nasher Museum of Art and Cornell's Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, and Unpacking Europe at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam.
Yallay Gallery, Hong Kong
The Importance of Staying Quiet, curated by Umer Butt
4th October - 3rd November 2014
The Shemza Estate are delighted to be included in this fantastic exhibition curated by Umer Butt.
Bringing together a selection of ten artists, The Importance of staying quiet explores the use of formal and informal elements that distil the image or form down to its basics. Works from the presentation span over six decades – 1950s to date – featuring prominent modern to significant contemporary practitioners from Pakistan and its diaspora. The selection is not intended to represent the artists’ signature practice but instead looks at specific works produced by them that contribute towards this dialogue.
Sharjah Art Museum
Trajectories: 19th - 21st Century Printmaking from India & Pakistan curated by Dr. Paula Sengupta & Camilla Chaudhary
10th September - 20th November 2014
The Shemza Estate has loaned a number of prints to Trajectories: 19th-21st Century Printmaking from India & Pakistan exhibition, at the Sharjah Art Museum.
The exhibition commences with an exploration of the Sub-continent’s India and
Pakistan’s shared ancestry in the medium of printmaking in the pre-Partition years.
The 19th and early 20th century bazaar prints, i.e. the Punjab lithographs, and the
chromolithographs and oleographs by both schooled and unschooled practitioners
from Pakistan and India are possibly the earliest examples of a common visual idiom
in print and a valid point of commencement for the exhibition.
This Exhibition features more than 100 original prints by several artists from the sub-continent, exploring decades of techniques and styles in printmaking.
For a great review of the exhibition, please click here.
For installation shots click here.
The 10th Gwangju Biennale
Burning Down the House, curated by Jessica Morgan
5th September - 9th November 2014
The 10th Gwangju Biennale: Burning Down the House explores the process of burning and transformation, a cycle of obliteration and renewal witnessed throughout history. Evident in aesthetics, historical events, and an increasingly rapid course of redundancy and renewal in commercial culture, the Biennale reflects on this process of, often violent, events of destruction or self-destruction―burning the home one occupies―followed by the promise of the new and the hope for change.
The exhibition is curated by Jessica Morgan, Artistic Director of the Gwangju Biennale and the Daskalopoulos Curator, International Art, Tate Modern.
The Shemza Estate are delighted to have 'Abstract Writing,' a unique pyrography made by Shemza in 1969, exhibited in the curated exhibition. For more information about the work, please click here.
For more information about the Gwangju Biennale please click here.
Art Dubai Modern 2014
19th - 22nd March 2014
The inaugural edition of Art Dubai Modern Section includes 11 galleries presenting a series of solo and two-person booth exhibitions, devoted to modern masters from the Middle East and South Asia. This new programme is developed with a group of eminent historians and curators in the field.
Jhaveri Contemporary will be exhibiting a selection of Anwar Jalal Shemza's works from the 'Square Composition' series 1960, as part of the new Art Dubai Modern Section.
To see more information about the Jhaveri Contemporary booth at Art Dubai Modern, please click here.
Dhaka Art Summit 2014
7th - 9th February 2014
The Dhaka Art Summit will return for its second edition from February 7-9 2014. After the success of its first edition, the second edition of the Summit will focus on the South Asian region and will highlight its vibrant contemporary art scene. The DAS will feature five exhibitions curated by local and international curators, 14 solo art projects, a city-wide public art project by internationally acclaimed Raqs Media Collective, screenings of experimental films, performances, and presentations by 33 local and international galleries including over 250 artists from across the South Asian Region. Several collateral exhibitions will take place around the city during the Dhaka Art Summit.
As part of the Shemza Estate's ongoing relationship with Jhaveri Contemporary Gallery, Mumbai, this year Jhaveri Contemporary will be exhibiting five Shemza works alongside the works of Rasheed Araeen and Rana Begum at the Dhaka Art Summit in Bangladesh.
For more information about the works on show please contact: email@example.com
To visit the Dhaka Art Summit's website click here.
Anwar Jalal Shemza: Tate Britain
Migrations: Journeys into British Art
31st January - 12 August 2012, Tate Britain, London
"This exhibition explores British art through the theme of migration from 1500 to the present day, reflecting the remit of Tate Britain Collection displays. From the sixteenth-century and seventeenth-century Flemish and Dutch landscape and still-life painters who came to Britain in search of new patrons, through moments of political and religious unrest, to Britain’s current position within the global landscape, the exhibition reveals how British art has been fundamentally shaped by successive waves of migration."*
Tate Britain will be showing two works by Anwar Jalal Shemza in the 'Artist's in Pursuit of an International Language' section of the exhibition.
For more information about the exhibition click here.
*Text cited from Tate.co.uk
Anwar Jalal Shemza, Take 2: The British Landscape
10th September - 22nd October 2010, Green Cardamom, London
"Green Cardamom presents the second of a series of exhibitions exploring the practice of the late Anwar Jalal Shemza (1929-1985). Take 2: The British Landscape examines the work of the artist through the lens of the landscape genre and is curated by artist, writer and lecturer, Rachel Garfield.
Take 2: The British Landscape follows Take 1: Calligraphic Abstraction (2009), curated by Iftikhar Dadi, which looked at the development of calligraphic abstraction in Shemza's works. His research paper for the exhibition featured in the Tate's conference on Abstraction in spring 2010. Subsequent curators for the exhibitions include Amna Malik and Savita Apte.
On 30 September 2010, Whitechapel Gallery, London will host a panel discussion on the practice of Anwar Jalal Shemza and Rasheed Araeen. Panelists include Rachel Garfield, Curator of Take 2: The British Landscape; Hammad Nasar, co-founder of Green Cardamom; Amna Malik, lecturer in Art History & Theory at the Slade School of Fine Art, London and Niru Ratnam, Director of Aicon Gallery, London. Time to be confirmed. Please check the Whitechapel website for details."*
For more information about the works on show and to download a press release click here.
*Text cited from Green Cardamom.net
Anwar Jalal Shemza: Calligraphic Abstraction
9th October - 6th November 2009,, Green Cardamom, London
"Green Cardamom presents a series of exhibitions over the next two years, exploring the practice of the late Anwar Jalal Shemza (1929–1985). Each exhibition examines a particular area of this artist’s work and is curated by a group of art historians, curators and artists who have been engaged with Shemza’s work in different capacities. The first exhibition, curated by Iftikhar Dadi, focuses on the development of calligraphic abstraction in Shemza’s works.
Shemza has re-territorialised the Arabic script, foregrounding its trans-local nature, while making its aesthetic engaging to the outside and so destabilising simplistic associations between art and nation. Calligraphic experimentations like his have, through abstraction, opened a dialogue with metropolitan artistic languages, to become more global in scope. Based on a study of Shemza’s writings and a significant part of his artistic oeuvre, the exhibition traces the development of the artist’s work between the 1950s till his death in 1985, during which time he lived in the UK.
The exhibition is accompanied by a research paper by Iftikhar Dadi." *
For more information about the works in the exhibition and to download a press release please click here.
*Text cited from Green Cardamom.net