Acrylic on canvas
Dimensions: 85.1cm (H) x 59.7cm (W) x 2.5cm (D) / 33.5" (H) x 23.5" (W) x 1" (D)
Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.
In 2016 I created ‘Heritage’, partially from my subconscious, and shortly after in the January of 2017, I happened to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in Bangalore. Bear in mind I had just stepped into painting, just a year in, and what follows is one of those moments that really cemented the notion that painting was to be my vocation, a lifelong pursuit.
What I saw, amongst a collection by a Japanese Zen master painter whose name now eludes me, a painting near identical to what I had visualised and created with Heritage just a few months prior. Mine was red and gold, rendered with a crisp line as is my style. This one, however, was blue and gold and painted freehand with multiple layers, of course. As mine was. And it shared the line, and the entire composition and execution, and except the one primary colour choice it was identical. I was stunned.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I never found out who that Zen master painter was. But as far as I was concerned, this was it. That sign we all look for, staring back at me in paint and canvas. This would be my contribution to the world. I give you, my legacy.
The blue is custom, what I like to call Electric Blue, my favourite, but based on cerulean blue. The gold is paler, a pale gold compared to the bronze gold of ‘Heritage’, and much trickier than you might expect of getting onto canvas. Took multiple passes to get the desired consistency and texture. Created in a night.
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Last Updated Sep 07, 2021
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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