This will be the first time that a representative selection of works by Raqib Shaw will be shown in the Czech Republic. Works from previous years, which form the pinnacle of his work thus far, have been chosen for the Prague exhibition. The uniqueness of the exhibition also lies in the fact that it was designed through direct interaction with the artist. The exhibition was prepared in conjuntion with the Manchester Art Gallery.
Raqib Shaw creates bestial energy-filled scenes with a strong erotic or even sadomasochistic subtext, richly filled with hybrid creatures - half human, half animal - whose behaviour is controlled by basic instincts. The decoratively-conceived backgrounds of scenes blend rich oriental carpet patterns and ornamental elements of Persian illuminated manuscripts from the 15th century - on which Shaw often focuses thematically, when he loosely bases his work on Persian and Greco-Roman mythological stories and fables. The animal scenes form a complex which combine the evocatively-conceived work of old masters of the Western tradition, including Hans Holbein Jr. and Hieronymus Bosch, as well as the history of visual and literary cultures of East and West.
In 1998, Raqib moved to London, where he began studying Fine Art at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. He graduated in 2002 with an MA in Fine Art.
A richly-illustrated catalogue will be published alongside the exhibition, which will include essays by David Lomas, Professor of Art History at University of Manchester and forewords by Maria Balshaw, Director of Manchester City Galleries and Petr Nedoma, Director of Galerie Rudolfinum.
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7 June - 15 September 2013
Raqib Shaw 'Paradise Lost' 2001-11 Oil, acrylic, glitter, enamel and rhinestones on birch wood
© Raqib Shaw Photo: Ben Westoby Courtesy White Cube