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Gallery Artists

Taha Afshar

Taha Afshar

 Taha Afshar’s work captures the delicate tension between the objective and the subjective, the particular and the universal, the momentary and the timeless. For Afshar, the process of painting seemingly operates as a form of meditation, where meaning is generated through the durational practice of working itself. Finished images thus reflect the thickness of human experience and sense perception, building layers of meaning into a single unique scene.

 Born in 1983, in Winchester, Taha studied Art and History of Art at Winchester College, where he was also award the Drew Scholarship. From a young age he exhibited in local galleries and gained local awards. He graduated from UCL with a degree in Economics, followed by a PhD. from the London School of Economics. Through out this time painting has evolved through various styles of portraiture, still life, landscape painting and sculpture.

 Recent landscape paintings have drawn inspiration from Nordic landscapes, where he has visits to paint. In a 2015 interview, Afshar makes reference to the acutely self-reflective nature of his work, citing a certain proximity to surrealist techniques of automatic writing. Layers of lived experience are literally woven into one another here: the harmony of landscapes scenes occasionally interrupted by handwritten text, the purity of natural light and form frequently cracked and abstracted in the filter of the artist’s gaze.

 This almost alchemical translation of human subjectivity onto the canvas carries with it an unavoidable sense of existential contemplation, calling forth the spirit of work by Giacometti just as clearly as it references Turner’s elemental aesthetic or Monet’s temporally sequential series of works. In fact, it seems the decision to paint at intervals throughout the day corresponds as much here to the documentation of lived experience as it does the fluctuation of light over a landscape.

 The process is key. The heighted sense of openness to all stimuli, both internal and external, facilitates an ultimately positive spiritually transformation. That is why I paint and sculpt.

 As George Innes writes, "the true use of art is, first, to cultivate the artist's own spiritual nature."

 He currently lives and works from his studio in Hampshire.

 

Exhibition history

 2000, Maltby Art Gallery, Winchester

2000, Winner of Maltby Young Artist prize

2001, Bell Fine Arts, Winchester

2001, Awarded Drew Art Travel Scholarship, Winchester College.

2002, Angelus Gallery, Winchester

2016 Cadogan Contemporary, Group Show, London

2016 Mall Galleries, New English Art Club, Group Show

2016 Jonathan Cooper, Group Show, London

 Publications

 2015, Selected Works. Essays by Alex Reynolds, James Bevan, Josh Bradwell. Monograph.

2015, Swedish Landscapes.  Essay by Alex Reynolds. Monograph.