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Raqib Shaw Exhibition at the Manchester Art Gallery

From the 15th of February to the 26th of May, Manchester Art Gallery is showing twenty-eight works, including An Ode to the Dissolving Silk of Dusk, by Indian artist Raqib Shaw. Shaw’s richly colourful and elaborate works are inspired by Hindu mythology and Japanese textiles. Filling the gallery space with their dancing imagery and powerful hues, these works hang alongside George Stubbs’ Cheetah and Stag with Two Indians in the 18th century gallery (which influenced Shaw).

Raqib Shaw, An Ode to the Dissolving Silk of Dusk, (2011).

Raqib Shaw was born in Calcutta, India in 1974 and grew up in in Kashmir. He moved to England in 1998 to study at the Central St Martins School of Art, from where he graduated in 2002 with an MA in Fine Art. Since graduating his work has been exhibited in galleries around the world. Today Raqib lives and works in London.

George Stubbs, Cheetah and Stag with Two Indians, (1765).

The gallery says of this exhibition “enter the gallery doors past a magical series of willow and spring flower installations to discover the dark, unsettling world of Raqib Shaw’s art. Beneath the seductive surface of his jewel-encrusted works, you’ll find a disturbing land inhabited by terrifying monkey warriors and other mythical beasts.”

Raqib Shaw, St Sebastian of the Poppies, (2011-12).

A series of acrylic works on paper from Shaw’s recent series Of Beasts and Super-Beasts, studded with rhinestones and dusted with glitter, will also feature.

His opulent paintings and sculptures evoke the work of Old Masters such as Holbein and Bosch in their treatment of often unsettling subjects. But they also reflect the ornate style of Persian miniatures and Kashmiri and Japanese textiles. Beneath their beautiful jewel-like surface is a collection of dark and violent images inspired by ancient myths and religious tales from both East and Western tradition.

These beautiful works evoke strange imagery which disorients and tantalizes the viewer into new vibrant worlds. I love the rich colours and delicate but strong images which present themselves. Shaw stands out from the crowd with these pieces- I have loved discovering these works.

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2 thoughts on “Raqib Shaw Exhibition at the Manchester Art Gallery

  1. Thanks for posting… great show…. recommend it to everyone… the art and the installation are truly magical!!

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