Disjunctions Lubna Chowdhary
Disjunctions by Lubna Chowdhary
03.12.2023
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Until the 5th of January, 2024, one has the opportunity to have a look at Tanzania-born artist Lubna Chowdhary’s ceramic art pieces. Her solo exhibition Disjunctions held at Gallery Isabelle highlights her distinctive disruption of material, tradition, and expectations.

Employing mostly clay and ceramics, the artist explores tensions between the handmade and the industrial, the domestic and the urban, ornamentation and minimalism. The Disjunctions exhibition encompasses two opposite movements. The first one is zooming out to consider structural contexts (of language, for example), while the second is delving into the intricacies of machine-made repetitions and handmade intuitions. 

Lubna Chowdhary, Disjunctions (installation view). Gallery Isabelle, Dubai, 2023.

In the exhibition, visitors can admire, for example, Chowdhary’s series of artworks Sign (2023) and Code (2023), in which she reappropriates logos, advertising, and branding images and combines them with spiritual iconographic symbols. The Sign series comprises large ceramic panels composed of individual machine-cut tiles. Their surface is glazed in bright hues and arranged to fit like pieces of a puzzle. In the Code series of paintings, the artist also uses pre-cut shapes and signs found in her environment and constructed into a jigsaw of interlocking patterns and rhythmic sequences.

Lubna Chowdhary, Sign 3, 2020. Glazed ceramic, wooden board. 55 1/10 × 55 1/10 × 1 3/5 in | 140 × 140 × 4 cm

About the artist

Lubna Chowdhary (b. 1964, Tanzania) lives and works in London, UK. She has a BA with Honours from Manchester Metropolitan University (Manchester, England). She also was among the students of the Royal College of Art (London), where she studied under Scottish artist and sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi. She graduated from the College with a Master’s Degree in Ceramics.

Chowdhary’s art practice bridges architecture and its history, craft, design, sculpture, installation, and painting. In her brightly coloured geometric ceramics, paintings, and works on paper, she explores the intersections of culture and identity, personal and collective histories, and traditional and industrial processes.  

Chowdhary has displayed her works in multiple solo and group exhibitions including those at Hayward Gallery (London, 2022); MIMA (Middlesbrough, England, 2022); Peer (London, 2021); Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia, 2020); Jameel Arts Centre (Dubai, 2020); Fondazione ICA Milano (Italy, 2019); Kochi Muziris Biennale (Kerala, India, 2018-2019); Manchester Art Gallery (England, 2018); Victoria & Albert Museum (London, 2017 and 2005); Pewabic Arts (Detroit, USA, 2012); Foundation Bernardaud (Limoges, France, 2004); City Art Gallery, Leicester (1994); and others. 

Lubna Chowdhary, Disjunctions (installation view). Gallery Isabelle, Dubai, 2023.

Chowdhary has received a number of such prestigious awards and grants: the Arts Council England Award (2021), the Jerwood Applied Arts Prize (shortlisted in 2001), the London Institute Research Award (1999), the British Council Exhibitions Grant (1998), and others. In addition, Chowdhary has completed artist residencies at Camden Arts Centre (London) and V&A Museum.

The artist’s creations are part of the collections of the Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney), Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (UK), Jameel Arts Centre, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (New Delhi), M+ Museum (Hong Kong), Nottingham Castle Museum (England), to name a few.

To learn more about Disjunctions, please visit the exhibition’s official web page.

You might also be interested in looking at the art pieces created by Michael Rice at Mestaria Gallery.