Leila Heller Gallery
Rashid Rana, Present Elsewhere
Rashid Rana’s splicing and stitching technique feels violent as it tears apart and reassembles photographs of canonical art historical and contemporary imagery. Utilising the grid structure, the artist scrambles famous compositions and rearranges them into pixelated and codified puzzles. Rana’s Transliteration Series re-imagines pre-existing imagery into digital fields of form and colour that he can play with. Rana’s technique of image-making is not simply a formal device: it is an act of subversion that literally breaks images apart and puts them together again, creating a new image which tells a different story. The strategy creates intended and un-intended pairings whereby pictorial language from a particular time and place in history finds itself reborn and re-examined through the lens of another set of spatial and temporal coordinates.
Bill Viola, The Vast: Mirrors of the Mind
Bill Viola (b. 1951) has been instrumental in the establishment of video as a vital form of contemporary art. His works focus on universal human experiences: birth, death, the unfolding of consciousness. The exhibition presents a selection of pioneering video pieces including works from the Sufi-inspired series Transfiguration Studies (2008), desert-based mediations on existence from the Mirage (2012) series and the hauntingly infinite fluidity of the Water Portraits (2013). The Vast: Mirrors of the Mind seeks to reveal to the viewer the thematic relationships in Viola’s work of the portrayal of desert and water as emblematic of his explorations of the voyage of life and death, consciousness and reflection—East to West.
In a preview to her April exhibition, Leila Heller Gallery presents new work of Hadieh Shafie’s scroll series. In her new work, Hadieh Shafie creates a kaleidoscope of movement and dance. In contrast to earlier Ketabs, these pieces are made of scrolls that have been partially dipped in black paint. This creates an entirely new visual effect and becomes more of a fusion jazz beat offering movement and motion, using light and dark, pattern and stillness. What was once continuous colour from harmonious circular forms has become broken and appears as arcs rather than infinite circles. Fractured, like divisions or dividing lines with moments of visual connection or continuity, they take on a swirling flight.
Since its establishment over three decades ago, Leila Heller Gallery has gained worldwide recognition as a pioneer in promoting creative dialogue and exchange between international artists and currently represents a diverse roster of Western and Middle Eastern artists.
To present a dynamic exhibition schedule, the gallery actively organises shows with world-renowned curators, hosts educational panels and film screenings. Gallery artists have consistently participated in international museum exhibitions and biennials worldwide.
In 2015, Leila Heller Gallery opened its first international location in Dubai’s Alserkal Avenue, becoming the largest gallery in the UAE.
9 March – 22 April 2017
Location: Warehouse 87, Alserkal Avenue
Open: Saturdays – Thursdays, 10:00 – 19:00
March 13, 17:00
Curator Talk: Rashid Rana in conversation with Glenn Lowry, Director of MOMA
Rashid Rana, Covert Overt (from Transliteration Series), 2016, LightJet Print + DIASEC, 350 cm x 225 cm