LONDON.- Rossi & Rossi Ltd
. announced their participation in Art Dubai 2010, where they will debut a new series by Pakistani artist Naiza H. Khan. Titled "Restore the Boundaries: The Manora Project", the series will consist of works in a mixture of watercolor, drawing, and both new and traditional print techniques.
Over the course of eighteen months Khan documented Manora, an island close to bustling Karachi that divides the citys port from the Arabian Sea. Historically a crucial vantage point, the peninsula was once subsumed by the Ottoman and British Empires. Though few traces of this history remain, in her visits Khan has observed a new sort of conquest, as the buildings of a humble seaside retreat are left to crumble while tenuous plans are made to build high-rise tourist hotels around them.
Highlights include "Shell Homes", in which the façade of a house built in sea shells, redolent of 19th century decoration, is seen abandoned by humans and reclaimed by the sea. It is joined by a similar, though much simpler frame of a newly built home. Exactingly rendered in a mixture of ink drawing and watercolor, the ghostly structures float against a nebulous wash of pigments that, upon close inspection, reveals buried signs of the past and future as brick ruins pile-up before the hint of an apartment buildings gridded windows. In "Graveyard", a series of tombs with stepped bases, reminiscent of ancient ziggurats, lie scattered before the looming specter of an angular 21st century cityscape. The stark monochrome of the buildings and pale grey of the cemetery suggest a deathly emptiness, though set between them, like a pool of sea water, lies a spill of cerulean blue that seems to promise life. The exhibition will be accompanied by a full color catalogue with an introduction by Kamila Shamsie and essay by Iftikhar Dadi.
Naiza H Khan (b. 1968) studied art at Wimbledon School of Art, and later, whilst at Somerville College, University of Oxford, at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. Over the past decade she has focused on drawing, entrenching herself in an art historical language that is rich and uncompromising. Based in Pakistan, she has been founder and coordinator for the Vasl Artists Collective, and part of the Fine Arts Faculty of the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture in Karachi. Her work has been exhibited internationally and has won various awards including the inaugural Unilever Lux Award for Visual Artist in 2002, the National Excellence Award PNCA in 2003, and the 43rd Premio Suzzarra in 2003.