Kind Blue Mukesh Shah
Kind of Blue by Mukesh Shah
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XVA Gallery in Dubai invites you to attend Kind of Blue, a solo exhibition by established British-Indian artist Mukesh Shah that presents his eponymous series of contemplative abstract paintings. The show will be open to the public until the 26th of March, 2024.

The evocative minimalist artworks on view, which can be regarded as inner landscapes, are made using such mediums as cardboard, cotton gauze, and rice paper. They examine the materiality of organic fibre in a tactile process of imperfect mark-making. Geometry, repetition, chance, and the uneven line are the recurring elements of Shah’s ever-changing visual language. There are no straight lines in nature, and every line fragments close up, perhaps revealing the blur between poignancy and indifference, the sacred and profane, between life and its absence.

Mukesh Shah, Kind of Blue 26, 2024. Enamel, oil pastel on aluminium panel.
100 x 70 cm

The Kind of Blue series features Full Moon Rising, a series of lyrical artworks drawing from the Black Square painting (1915) by Russian avant-garde artist and art theorist Kazimir Malevich. These works explore the materiality of manufactured paper.

About the artist

Mukesh Shah (b. 1959, Aden, Yemen) divides his time between Dubai and London (UK). He spent his childhood in Aden and Bombay (India) and moved to the UK in 1976. In 1981, he graduated from the University of Cambridge with an MA in Natural Sciences. After working in finance, Shah rented a studio and started his art career in 2011.

Mukesh Shah, Kind of Blue 12, 2018. Acrylic, enamel and gauze on aluminium panel.
122 x 81 cm

Apart from producing tactile abstract works focused on organic materiality, the artist’s observing practice includes language-based art pieces. His Playlist series comprising 25 reductive slogans, which are created using neon and screen print on powder-coated aluminium panels, addresses contemporary issues. In these works, Shah uses the relationship between text and image to portray the changing forms of expression in today’s digital age. “The series [reflects] the street art and protest slogans that have become a ubiquitous part of our visual landscape as well as our culture,” he says.

Mukesh Shah, I TOO SMELL ROSES, 2018. PU paint on aluminium panel.
100 x 70 cm. Edition of 3 + 1 AP (white)

Shah’s work has been the subject of several monographic exhibitions. These are Personal Structures (Palazzo Mora, 59th La Biennale di Venezia, Italy, 2022); PLAYLIST (XVA Gallery, Dubai, 2019); Sikka Art & Design Festival (Dubai, 2018); and ArtBAB (Bahrain, 2017), to name a few. The artist has also taken part in some group shows such as Palabras, Palabras, Palabras (Tamara Kreisler Gallery, Madrid, Spain, 2023); Sign Systems (Unit London, London, 2022); AFA Collective (Fann A Porter, Dubai, 2019); Contemporary Art of the Middle East (Wetpaint Gallery, London, 2018); and others.

To get more information about Kind of Blue, please visit the official web page of the exhibition.

You might also be interested in visiting Some seasons: Fereydoun Ave and the Laal Collection, 1959-2019 at Art Jameel Centre.