Lahore-based contemporary artist Rashid Rana has announced details of his latest London exhibition; Rana, widely considered to be Pakistan’s greatest contemporary artist, will stage the month-long exhibition at the Lisson Gallery in Northwest London beginning 30th March.
Rana specializes in using digital prints in his work; piecing together thousands of individual images in collages, recasting them as pixels within a single image. By associating the image that is seen from afar with the unseen prints that make up the larger image, Rana attempts to highlight the contradictions that exist in the modern world; the eternal conflict between perception and reality. A classic example of a Rana creation is the ‘Veil’ series of portraits featured at a 2007 exhibition at London’s Saatchi Gallery; portraits of burqa-clad women made up in turn of hundreds of small, pornographic stills of women.
Lisson Gallery’s Curatorial Director Greg Hilty says, “Rashid Rana’s work demonstrates a powerful interplay between formal structure and highly charged content, creating a genuine hybrid of Asian and Western artistic traditions.”
Born in Lahore in 1968, Rana graduated from the city’s National College of Arts before receiving a Master of Fine Arts from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. After his Masters he studied fashion design in Paris before moving permanently back home to Lahore where he lectures at the School of Visual arts, Beaconhouse National University, Lahore. In the past decade he has emerged as one of the country’s most sought after visual artists, having exhibited his work around the world – from Queensland, Australia to Geneva, Switzerland as well as throughout India.
In the exhibition at Lisson, Rana will present a series of key works in which he redeploys photographic imagery in varied formats including installation, sculpture, and large-scale photographic prints. These works see Rana drawing on techniques such as pixelation reconfigure the relationship between part and whole, fragment and meaning.
The photographic sculpture, Books (2010, UV Inkjet print on aluminium), features images of books layered on blocks that themselves resemble books. The work both maps and manipulates the distance between representation and reality. Here Rana challenges our understanding of three-dimensional forms through the use of pixelated imagery, pixelation being more commonly associated with two-dimensionality.
Also on display at Lisson will be a number of large-scale photographic works that Rana sees as ‘unpacking abstraction’. From a distance these works have the appearance of richly textured, patterned abstract compositions. However, on closer inspection, each work is revealed to be formed from thousands of smaller context specific digital images that offset the perceived serenity of the larger image.
Rashid Rana at the Lisson Gallery
30 March – 30 April
For more information visit www.lissongallery.com