Acrylic on canvas
Dimensions: 91.4cm (H) x 207cm (W) x 2.5cm (D) / 36" (H) x 81.5" (W) x 1" (D)
Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.
A young cave lion, male, drawn to scale. These have been extinct for 12,000 years, and I was fascinated by their size and beauty. They were one of the largest species of lion to have ever lived, and because of not only fossils, but also depictions of the cave lions in prehistoric cave paintings, it has been possible to recreate what the animal looked like. Weeks of my research went into studying this animal's appearance and context to to be able to create this accurate depiction and mannerism of this animal.
Cave lions had rounded, protruding ears, tufted tails, and that at least some had a "ruff" or primitive mane around their neck, indicating males. Their body color possibly varied from a ochre-tinted gray to dark ochre brown on the upper parts of the body, while the rest of the coat was light brown.
Acrylic palette consists of raw umber, burnt umber, naples yellow, with added grey and unbleached titanium for the background, along with various contaminations of others hues. These colours are distributed in a randomised gradient based on the light and shadow on the cave lion. It appears tense, crouching at the entrance to a cave, lit by the sunlight behind.
Based in: Hyderabad
After first drawn to painting after being inspired by Cubism's proposal of perceiving the physical, Abdullah Khan creates paintings that play on human vision and perception. His practice focuses keenly on the intersection of abstraction and representation, subconscious and conscious, art and technology. Trained as a mechanical engineer, his research into industrial design lead eventually to art as a profession in 2015 based out of a studio in Hyderabad, India.
He is very much inspired by Picasso, David Hockney, and more recently Francis Bacon. Any number of subjects from his rather broad and arcane interests as well as his own contemplations of changing self and impartial observations of the current zeitgeist inspire his work. His style is informed by technological precision and analog draughtsman-ship with visible readings from cubism, minimalism, the colour theorists, the abstract expressionists, although the diversity of subject matter defy any single classification.
Works are thoroughly researched, precisely mapped and measured before painting in a technique; clean, crisp lines separating blocks of colour, often with visible brushstroke texture. He always starts from scratch, on a blank piece of paper. Most of the time there is a concept or image that had particular significance based around which an artwork is conceived, other times the specific materials or dictate the piece into a composition that complements it. There is an apparent love of paint. As with all art the self and the context is projected which invites subjective readings, which he welcomes as he insists on no particular meaning himself, allowing the work to affect the nervous system and draw a response.
He is very much curious of new and emergent technologies and how they continue to drive progress and further innovation, pushing our collective knowledge forward, and how they affect the sensibilities of form, design, and art. The end result of the work is an object that remains decidedly handmade in the face of increasing automation, despite being possible, directly or indirectly, only by modern technology.
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