Gazelli Art House is delighted to announce time | memory | landscape the third solo show of British artist Saad Qureshi to coincide with Places for Nova, his public commission for Land Securities in Victoria, opening spring 2017.
Known primarily for his ambitious sculptural works, drawing has always been a central part of Qureshi’s practice, and the exhibition at the gallery will feature the first international presentation of his new landscape drawings and works on paper.
A series of monumental drawings on wood explore Qureshi’s enduring fascination with memory and its reinterpretation of landscapes, transforming them into third places, hybrids of recollection and fantasy. This process of iteration through memory touches on the ineffability of lived experience: reminding us at once of its instability and its genius for invention.
The ‘mindscapes’ evoked in Qureshi’s drawings are sourced from fragments of real places, snatched images of somewhere that is or has been. They invite their viewers to inhabit and absorb them into their mind’s eye, and in doing so to inform and transform them yet again.
The works exploit the experiential qualities of wood and the powdery luminescence of brick dust, taking a building material and grinding it into a pigment.
Qureshi is excited by the conceptual unities implied by the process, “I like the idea that a byproduct of brick, the basic unit of so much of our built environments, can become the base for a drawing: that this real-world material can be used to evoke other worlds which exist only in the mind.”
A second series of drawings explores the impressions of landscapes burnt into the memory, echoing the retinal imprint that registers the instant you shut your eyelids, fixing this photographic residue into a scorched outline on paper. Unlike the works on wood, the scorched line drawings are of places entirely imagined by the artist. Evocations rather than depictions, they are meditations on the cadences of landscape, and how their rhythms unfold in the mind.
Places for Nova, Qureshi’s first major public commission, is a site-specific installation which looks at the portability of landscapes, and the human mind as a vehicle that allows places to be carried in the memory from one location to another. As part of its development period, Qureshi invited people who live, work and travel through Victoria to donate a memory of a significant landscape that they no longer have access to. These reimagined places have been brought together to create a series of universal 'mindscapes'. They are housed in six custom-designed corten steel vitrines that function as panoramic portals to alternative, hybrid worlds. The work, commissioned by Land Securities for Nova, Victoria, its ambitious new development housing world-class office space, high-quality apartments, a cluster of innovative new restaurants and a significant public realm , will be launched to the public in February 2017.
Since graduating with an MFA from The Slade School of Fine Art in 2010, Saad Qureshi (b. 1986; United Kingdom) has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally. Group exhibitions include the Venice Biennale 2015, Saatchi Gallery, Royal Academy of Arts, Royal British Society of Sculptors, the Barbican, Patrick Heide CA, Red Mansion Foundation, Modern Art Oxford, White Project Gallery (Paris), Centrale Montemartini (Rome), and the Museum voor Moderne Kunst (Arnhem). Qureshi’s works are held in the Farjam Foundation Collection (Dubai), the Dipti Mathur Collection (California), the Creative Cities Collection (Beijing) and the Boston Consulting Group Collection, as well as other private collections. Prizes include Arts Council England Research Award, AHRC Postgraduate Award, the Red Mansion Foundation Prize, and the Royal British Society of Sculptors Bursary Award and residencies include the BBC2 School of Saatchi (London) and the International Art Zone, (Beijing).
Press release courtesy Gazelli Art House.