Rashid Rana - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Friday, October 17, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Albion Gallery, London; Private collection, London

  • Exhibited

    New Delhi, Nature Morte Gallery, Rashid Rana: Reflected Looking, 17 February - 17 March, 2007 (another example exhibited)

  • Literature

    L. Wei, 'Rashid Rana at Nature Morte' in Art and America, November 2007

  • Catalogue Essay

    Rashid Rana is a master at addressing political and social issues through ironic juxtaposition. His works vacillate between the micro and macro as he creates a composite image arranged from thousands of ‘pixels’ or miniaturized photos, oftentimes depicting mundane scenes of life in Lahore.

    In his work, Rana cleverly relates back to the history of art in Pakistan, his native country.  A graduate of the National College of Arts, Lahore, the most respected traditional miniature painting program in the world, Rana deviated from his peers moving into digital media and photography and away from the traditional painting techniques taught at the school.  Yet, in spite of his embrace of new media, Rana manages to wryly preserve the idea of the miniature in his work through his mosaic-like usage of minute photographs in constructing his images.

    In The World is Not Enough, Rana creates a multi-dimensional work which from afar appears to stylistically quote from Impressionism or Abstract Expressionism with its well balanced swirls of pastel colors and lack of representation or perspective. On closer examination, the work reveals itself to be, in fact, not colourful brushstrokes but thousands of photographs of garbage.  Rana’s arrangement of these photos gives the impression of an infinite mass of refuse, both organic and industrial, ominously covering the surface of the earth.  The scale and slick, almost pretty, presentation are at odds with the repelling subject matter and Rana has managed to infuse a social message into the work through the comparison. 

    “In this age of uncertainty we have lost the privilege of having one world view.  Now every image, idea and truth (may it be ancient or modern) encompasses its opposite within itself.  Thus we live in a state of duality.  This internal conflict translates into my work, on a formal level, as well as having geographical, historical and political connotations.” (Rashid Rana, Artist Statement, The 2006 Sovereign Asian Art Prize, n.p.)

    Rana’s ability to identify and create these tensions between the whole and its parts in his pointillist photographs has become his hallmark. The artist is adept at pulling apart the world’s facades, forcing his viewers to look beyond the larger image at the sum of its parts. In so doing, Rana reveals a litany of cultural, political and economic ills lying closely beneath its surface.


The World is Not Enough

Digital c-print flush mounted to aluminium with Diasec face in four parts.
Overall: 228.6 x 304.8 cm. (90 x 120 in).
This work is from an edition of five.

£100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for £79,250

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

18 Oct 2008, 7pm