The Department of Art & Art History is presents “Faisal Abdu’Allah: The Art of Dislocation” on view from September 28 - November 14, 2010, with a reception on October 1, 5-7 PM, at the Thomas Welton Stanford Art Gallery.
The exhibition is the first of a three-part major survey of British artist Faisal Abdu’Allah mapping 20 years of the artist’s practice. His work subverts conventional discourses of myth and iconography that is complex and politically-telling while both ideologically and aesthetically challenging. His practice stands counterpoint between representation and materiality; constantly repositioning forms and values relating to the tensions between making and articulating difference.
“The Art of Dislocation” is the largest retrospective of Abdu’Allah’s work to date and his first major solo exhibition in the United States. As the first at Stanford of a black British artist, it is a unique opportunity for a reappraisal of the artist’s work emerging from Britain in the 1980s and as a contemporary artist of the Caribbean diaspora.
Trained as a printmaker, Abdu’Allah’s work is imbued with both the texture of the material and the nature of the issues explored within it. These issues recur in different and multifaceted ways; the reconfiguration of community, masculinity, violence and faith. Together they provide a commentary that interrogates the history and cultural contexts in which images, semantic and visual expressions originate.
The exhibition brings together a significant number of works, including photographs, photo etchings, prints and sculptural works. Abdu’Allah will also be a visiting Professor and Artist-in-Residence at Stanford from September 2010, providing an opportunity for the university to engage directly with his work and practice.
The exhibition will feature “Fuck Da Police,” photo screen print and text etching (1991); “The Last Supper I and II,” ink jet print on paper (1996); “Revelations I-V,” ink jet print on paper (1997); “I Wanna Kill Sam,” screen print on steel (5 works, 1993); and “Dullah’s 69,” photo etching (6-9 works, 2010). Sculptural works include “Knuckle Duster” (2008) and “Gun Beretta” (2008).
Faisal Abdu’Allah graduated from the RCA in 1993, and with his debut exhibition I Wanna Kill Sam quickly established himself as an artist interested in confrontation and displacement, using the gallery space as a site to explore rare social interactions through provocative installations pieces. His work primarily evolves from photography, the printed image and lens-based installation.
The exhibition features an extensive range of Abdu’Allah’s work including a one-off performance by the artist, Live Salon, on October 1. An exhibition booklet will be available for purchase, with a major catalogue forthcoming to accompany the full touring exhibition program. The survey will show Abdu’Allah’s growing stature as a global artist, showcasing work produced in the US, South Africa and the Middle East as well as new site specific work at each venue, reflecting his engagement with each space as part of this traditional practice.
The exhibition, catalogue and related program at Stanford University are made possible through the generosity of Magnolia Editions, the Office of the Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences, Institute for Diversity in the Arts, Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts, and the University of East London, UK.
Thomas Welton Stanford Art Gallery is open Tuesday-Friday, 10 AM–5 PM, and Saturday-Sunday, 1-5 PM.