Rana Begum, No. 430, 2013, Paint & lacquer on birch plywood, 220 x 45 x 50 cm.

Rana Begum, Creating an Ordered and Disordered Material World

Rana Begum, No. 400, 2013, Paint on mild steel, 73 x 55 x 24 cm.

Rana Begum, No. 400, 2013, Paint on mild steel, 73 x 55 x 24 cm.

Rana Begum, No. 418, 2013, Paint on mirror finish steel, 65 x 40 x 21 cm.

Rana Begum, No. 361, 2013, Paint on mirror finish copper, 61 x 67 x 16 cm.

Rana Begum, No. 356, 2012, Paint on mirror finish brass, 56 x 62 x 20 cm.

 

The Third Line
Al Quoz 3
+ 9714 341 1367
Dubai
Rana Begum. No. 10
June 19-July 30, 2013

The Third Line presents Rana Begum's third solo show in Dubai, No.10, exhibiting metal sculptures coated with vibrant colors that push the relationship between color, form and three-dimensional space. Taking inspiration from urban order and disorder, Begum creates surfaces and planes that are luscious and seductive. To engage with these works the viewer must walk around them, embracing the materiality and making the viewing of the work a visceral and physical experience.

The show includes wall-mounted folded metal works that vary in sizes. These are developed out of previous studies in paper and delicately emulate the weightlessness of the original material. Mild steel, mirror finish steel, copper and brass are some of the industrial materials Begum is fascinated with. Careful consideration is given to the folds and angles and colors are scrupulously applied to various facets to create crystalline compositions.

Placed at irregular intervals and unusual heights, the installation plays with spatial concerns and recreates a semblance of kinesis. The sharp composition of light, reflection and geometry all come together to create multiple perspectives.

In addition to these works are two benches that take on a more grounded and sculptural interpretation of the theme. The large floor pieces also occupy viewers in much the same way as the airy wall series, inviting them to view the work from all sides, taking in their multiple faces and shifting geometrical planes.

This new and more playful body of work follows Begum's established practice of working with minimalist aesthetic and urban physiognomies — each work demanding a level of interaction to experience its entirety. As is significant with her previous works, this exhibition explores how the slightest shifts in colour, shape, movement, and viewing angle can create complex and beautiful new alignments.

Rana Begum received her Fine Art Degree in painting at the Chelsea College of Art and Design and her MFA in painting from the Slade School of Fine Art, both of London. She has held several solo exhibitions in London, Cologne, Mumbai and Dubai. Her works were also featured in international art fairs such as Frieze Art Fair, Fiac, ABC, Armoury, Nada, Dubai Art Fair. Begum’s works has been acquired by international institutions and foundations including Art Museum of Western Virginia, Ernst & Young Collection and Farjam Collection, Dubai and most recently MoNA (Museum of Old and New Art). Begum has recently completed Public Art Commission for Marcol House, London and currently working Surbiton Health Centre, London and Hualien Theatre, Taiwan. Begum has also been awarded The Jack Goldhill Award for Sculpture at The Royal Academy in London in 2012.

Begum currently lives and works in London, UK.

Rana Begum, No. 412, 2013, Paint on mild steel, 60 x 71 x 15 cm.

Rana Begum, No. 428, 2013, Paint on mirror finish steel, 52 x 70 x 25 cm.

Rana Begum, No. 422, 2013, Paint on mirror finish brass, 62 x 58 x 24 cm.

Rana Begum, No. 428, 2013, Paint on mirror finish steel, 52 x 70 x 25 cm.

Rana Begum, No. 410, 2013, Paint on mild steel, 55 x 60 x 16 cm.

Rana Begum, No.430, 2013, Paint & lacquer on birch plywood, 220 x 45 x 50 cm.

Rana Begum, No.180, 2009, Spray paint on powder coated aluminium, 25 x 25 cm.

Rana Begum, No.191, 2009, Spray paint on powder coated aluminium, 45 x 200 cm.

Repetition and Symmetry in a Conversation Between Color and Shape

Rana Begum, No.188, 2009, Spray paint on powder coated aluminium, 142 x 142 cm.

Rana Begum, No.190, 2009, Spray paint on powder coated aluminium, 142 x 142 cm.

Rana Begum, No.186, 2009, Spray paint on powder coated aluminium, 142 x 142 cm.

 

The Third Line
Al Quoz 3
+ 9714 341 1367
Dubai
The Moment of Alignment.
New works by Rana Begum

September 10-October 1, 2009

Six new large-scale, coloured aluminium works form the exhibition supported by a selection of works on paper and smaller three-dimensional pieces.           

Moving beyond the colour codes of her first solo exhibition at The Third Line, Rana Begum has evolved from a multiple layering of colour to hard edged repetition and symmetry. Maintaining a perpendicular format and intuitive application of colours, Begum’s new work demands an active participation between the audience and the pieces themselves. These works have progressed into a geometric range of forms, crossing three dimensions, requiring the viewer to move around the pieces in order to experience multiple layers of symmetry. By re-defining a variety of parallelograms and divisions into repeated geometric patterned tiles, she initiates a conversation between color and shape across smaller works constructed from paper, and three-dimensional wall mounted sculptures.

This new work is striving towards a nuanced experience, and whether springing from the spiritual or mundane, it embodies the elements that still interest Begum: form, colour and light. Her work sets out to transform the overpowering associations of urban debasement into a more poetic understanding. While patterns and forms found in Islamic Art help to shape the compositions of the work, the focus is how these patterns and forms reoccur accidentally, randomly and chaotically in the surrounding environment: road signs, advertising, hazard signs.

Begum's choice of colours is intuitive — the selection is made by seeing the reaction of one colour against another. The resulting effect blurs the precise lines and edges of each shape, which placed side by side create balance and harmony. This can be clearly seen in the smaller works constructed from paper. These works are in effect paper studies that have been an aid towards creating the larger works.

Where Begum’s previous works maintained a constant use of horizontal or vertical lines that were direct and representative, her new series demands the viewer engage with the work in order to complete the experience. Six large works form the main aspect of the exhibition in the form of three-dimensional structural installations. These pieces comprise of 15 bars made out of box section extruded aluminium, powder-coated in black, and hang vertically on the wall. On top of them, a second or third colour is sprayed, creating an overlaying pattern, applying a new logic to existing form. This double visual is visible only through physical movement, forcing the viewer to shift from one side of the work to another in order to experience a complexity that is unapparent at first glance.

The dominant use of black as the base colour in all six works is a challenging and conscious one. After the birth of her first child in 2008, Begum began making studies on colour using paper. It is from these studies that she became fascinated by how black is transformed when used as a background for other colours. Not only does the black absorb the light from the other colors, but it also provides depth to them, acting as a division of the space and creating patterns that flow with each work. Their vibrancy hints at Begum’s desire to create an abstraction with logic and rigour. Each composition of colour and light creates a new and unexpected reaction.

When in front of the work only the black surfaces are seen. Traces of the second or third colour are implied by the way the colour bounces off the white wall behind them, to varying degrees depending on the visual spectrum. Moving, even slightly, in any direction results in a different interaction between the elements. It is this glow that brings these extrusions together and unifies the work, thus creating an ethereal experience. Each component of the work communicates with the next sequentially. With the succession from one work to another, the duplicating progression of fleeting experiences builds a dialogue that is constant throughout the exhibition.

Begum received her Fine Art Degree in painting at the Chelsea College of Art and Design and her MFA in painting from the Slade School of Fine Art, both of London.

Lodged between op-art and minimalism, Begum's paintings draw an unlikely inspiration from repetitive geometric patterns within Islamic art and architecture. The result is a series of tightly controlled compositions, where impeccably applied colorful hard-edge lines are coated in a thick layer of glossy resin, to create seductively tactile reflective surfaces. Begum's paintings are an exercise in rhythm and symmetry and much like music, have a spiritual quality to them that embraces the heart and gratifies the eye.

In her recent work, Begum has more fully delved into installation, and has further minimized her palette to sometimes dual or even single color panels. With this uber reductive approach, Begum creates compelling visual language with the tiniest of movements.

Rana Begum, No.181, 2009, Spray paint on powder coated aluminium -25 x 25 cm.

Rana Begum, No.178, 2009, Spray paint on powder coated aluminium, 20 x 25 cm.

Rana Begum No.179, 2009, Spray paint on powder coated aluminium, 25 x 25 cm.