View Mohammed Adel's solo exhibition online, at our Jhaveri Contemporary viewing room.
A graduate of Camberwell University of Arts, London-based painter Mohammed Adel's (b.1997, London) artworks explore the nuances of British-Bengali identity. Drawing inspiration from his own home, Adel's paintings are hybridised compositions of both lived and imagined experiences. His works act as visual reflections of the gaps that exist within individual identities, capturing both the transformative nature of memory and the delicate balance between how we envision ourselves within spaces that were once lived realities. Encapsulating the inherent tensions that arise from the interplay between the familiar and the distant, Adel's practice builds a compelling bridge between the personal and the collective where he is able to merge elements of his subjective history within broader cultural narratives.
Through paintings that depict intimate moments of everyday life, the artist prompts viewers to contemplate the complex negotiation of identity and belonging, highlighting the ongoing process of reconciling one's heritage and individuality within a multicultural society. The incorporation of imagery from photographic family albums within his paintings blurs the boundaries between the past and the present, inviting us to reflect upon our own familial connections and the ways in which these relationships shape our sense of self. Adel's paintings therefore can be seen as visual archives that not only preserve the past but also invite reinterpretation and reimagining.
Embracing both the fluidity and complexity of cultural expressions within the South Asian diasporic experience through skilful juxtapositions of both abstract and naturalistic painterly styles, as well a playful approach to pattern, motif and perspective, Adel allows his images to exist outside the specificities of time and place. Indeed, a defining trait of his compositions is the incorporation of ambiguity, intangibility, and awkwardness: qualities that evoke introspection and encourage viewers to confront the liminal spaces where uncertainty resides. Adel challenges single and definitive readings of race and gender through a mastery of gesture and positioning, leaving the dynamics between the different figures in his paintings largely open-ended. By leaning into this sense of discomfort and the unsettled, Adel's presentation with Jhaveri Contemporary asks us to expand our perceptions of identity, cultural norms and notions of home. In doing so, his art is a catalyst for self- reflection and critical inquiry.
—Text by Tarini Malik, 2023
Press release courtesy Jhaveri Contemporary.