The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Saturday, May 26, 2018

Hamra Abbas, Adventures of the Woman in Black at Green Cardamom
Woman in Black, 2008/ Islamabad. MediumÑ Painted fiberglass.

LONDON.- Hamra Abbas will exhibit a series of new works, including a new vision of the female super-hero at Green Cardamom this autumn. The works exhibited by the artist explore ideas of militancy, fuelled by the atmosphere of violence and despair pervading both her immediate context of Pakistan but also elsewhere, through the spiralling culture of violence.

The artist’s cross-cultural take on the super-hero genre is her monument to the potency of a benevolent yet assertive feminine power in a world reeling from the effects of militant violence, perpetrated largely by men.

Abbas’ female super-heroine stands voluptuously at two meters tall. Clad only in a cape that looks vaguely like a burka, brandishing a stick and made from shiny, black fibreglass, this proud, sculptural figure is the Woman in Black. Abbas’s buxom sculpture, plays on the iconic press images of burka clad women yielding sticks as weapons when Islamabad’s Red Mosque seminary was stormed last year by government troops.

Far from ridiculing these women or offering trite comment on the veil, the artist embraces the idea of ‘woman power’, through the empowerment offered both by the veil and female sexuality. A world away from the Western image of the Muslim woman as victim of a male world, Abbas’s Woman in Black is far closer in type to figures such as the triumphant Ancient Greek figure of the Goddess Athena.

Abbas frequently takes a playful look towards widely accepted traditions. She is known for appropriating culturally loaded imagery and iconography, and transforming it into new works that may be experienced spatially or temporally, and for creating new platforms from which to view notions of culture, tradition and exchange.

During her 2006 residency at London’s Gasworks studios and the V&A, Hamra Abbas made the digital animation Battle Scenes, also to be exhibited at Green Cardamom. Following the layout of figures from the 16th Century Imperial Mughal album The Akbarnama (c.1590), housed now at the V&A, and depicting a battle between the Emperor Akbar’s army and his enemies, Abbas used photographs of ordinary people in London’s Hyde Park, whom she asked to re-enact the violent gestures of the figures in the original, and then animated. Abbas’ version of the battle depicts an array of figures of different ages, genders and ethnic backgrounds, dressed in jeans and T-shirts, posed warrior-like against a black background. While formally Abbas references the composition and perspective of the miniature, bringing these into the contemporary media of animation, the work also interrogates and parodies the traditional depiction of the glory of war, highlighting instead its absurdity.

Despair: A Love Story, also to be exhibited at Green Cardamom is a work in her signature collage, where she uses colour for the first time. This intricate paper collage, inspired by Islamic geometric patterns, spells out the word ‘Despair’ and is made of thin strips of paper, printed with the word ‘Love’. Here her use of colour contrasts sharply against the word spelt out by the collage. Hamra Abbas will also be part of a major exhibition at Phillips de Pury this November, showcasing a select number of artists from Pakistan and India. Here, in collaboration with Green Cardamom, she will exhibit It’s a Boy. This is a set of four fibreglass baby boys, each just over a metre high and produced in yellow, black, white and terracotta (the four colours of man). Each giant baby clutches two snakes, inspired by the packaging of Woodward’s Gripe Water, and also reminiscent of the baby Hercules strangling the two snakes, and the Hindu legend of Krishna and Khalia, the many headed snake. In both contexts, the work alludes to the cross-cultural myth of the ‘invincible’ boy child, in a manner typical of Abbas’ irreverent and light humour. She will visit London for the openings of both shows.

Hamra Abbas was born in Kuwait in 1976, and now lives and works in Islamabad. She studied at the National College of Arts in Lahore, and has exhibited widely internationally in Asia, Europe, and the USA.

Today's News

October 17, 2008

The Cobra Museum Celebrates Sixty Years of the Foundation of the CoBrA Movement

Multiplicity: Prints and Multiples Opens at Art Gallery of South Australia

Recollections - Philip Jones Griffiths Photography Exhibition

Full House - The Kouri Collection and Minimalist Adventures in America Opens

Akron Art Museum To Receive Major Donation of Vogel Works

Welcoming the Rijksmuseum with Indian Miniatures in the Van Gogh Museum

Ruth Weisberg: Guido Cagnacci and the Resonant Image Opens

Glen Gentele Appointed President and CEO of the Oklahoma City Museum of Art

Louise Blouin Institute Presents Wang Guangyi: Cold War Aesthetics

The Drawing Center Presents Magnusson Grossman: Furniture and Lighting

Scope London Art Fair Opens at Lord's Cricket Ground

This Is War! Robert Capa at Work Opens at Barbican Art Gallery, London

Cinema Remixed & Reloaded: Black Women Artists and the Moving Image Since 1970

Rockefeller Foundation Announces Inaugural Bellagio Center Creative Arts Fellows

Hamra Abbas, Adventures of the Woman in Black at Green Cardamom

The Free Art Fair Opens in London

Pivot Points: Turkey England Turkey - New Photography by Helen Sheehan

Indianapolis Museum of Art To Establish Conservation Science Laboratory

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- New Rembrandt found after being bought at London auction

2.- Exhibition at Fotohof focuses on groups in society who are at risk of marginalisation

3.- John Brennan collection of Rock n Roll memorabilia offered at RR Auction

4.- A Bob Dylan guitar fetches $495,000 at auction

5.- Exhibition in San Francisco focuses on the latter half of René Magritte's career

6.- 'Mad' king Ludwig II of Bavaria lost gift to composer Richard Wagner gets rare show

7.- New Royal Academy of Arts opens in celebration of its 250th anniversary

8.- Researchers uncover Anne Frank's 'dirty jokes'in her diary

9.- New York art sales near $3 billion in two weeks as uber-rich hunt trophies

10.- Berlin's Ethnological Museum returns grave-plundered artefacts to Alaska

Related Stories

Important Judaica and Israeli & international art bring a combined $7.9 million at Sotheby's New York

Tunisia to auction ousted despot's treasures

Andy Warhol's Mao portraits excluded from the Beijing and Shanghai shows next year

China criticises French Qing dynasty seal auction

Christie's announces auction marking the first half century of the popular and luxurious interiors shop Guinevere

Nine new exhibits debut at San Diego International Airport

Rembrandt masterpiece "Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet" back on display at National Museum Cardiff

Amber: 40-million-year-old fossilised tree resin is Baltic gold

Egyptian artist Iman Issa wins the Ist FHN Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Award

The main chapel of the Basilica of Santa Croce open for visits after five year restoration

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful