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Foyer Gallery | Taha Afshar

Taha Afshar Untitled (Letting Light in 4){Right} , Untitled (Letting light in 3){Left}. both 110 x 110 cm. Oil on Linen, 2016

Letting the Light in

In celebration of the 700th anniversary of one of the greatest classical Persian works of the Islamic mystical tradition of Sufism, we are pleased to present works by Taha Afshar as part of our Foyer Gallery series.

The works chosen are part of Afshar’s Let The Light In series, and are being exhibited as a preview to a major group exhibition taking place at Asia House later this year.

The selected set of abstract landscape paintings are exploring themes discussed by Mahmoud Shabistari (d. c. 1339) in his literary work, The Garden of Mystery. The intention and purpose of the set of paintings is to explore the light within the human heart and soul. Light, in the physical or spiritual sense, is often the subject matter of Afshar’s work. In this series, he is tackling this subject head on, with reference to all of its mystical qualities, from the mind of a wayfarer doing his soul work. He invites us to watch the paint risk curiosity, spontaneous delight, in the hope that it can explore, describe and reveal something sacred.

The basic concept is that in all paintings there is a yellow source of light; all the other colours and lines serve to support that central light, which is attempting to capture and symbolise the light within the heart. Some of the canvases have gone through several large iterations of bold line and colour followed by a whitewashing, and then another cyclical addition of colour. This process symbolises the process of purification that is required to the heart in order for the light to be felt and seen, as per the Sufi tradition.

In the same tradition as Agnes Martin and Brice Marden, these paintings are exploring what is unseen with the eye. Beauty is immeasurable and abstract, “perfect and sublime…. This is the subject matter of art” writes Agnes Martin. In terms of the use of light and colour, the similarities with Twombly, Turner and late Monet are more visually obvious.

Taha Afshar, born in 1983, is a British-born painter and sculptor. He studied Art and History of Art at Winchester College, and exhibited in local galleries from a young age, winning local prizes and scholarships for his work. His painting draws considerable influence from J. M. W. Turner and Cy Twombly, whilst being linked with contemporary painters such as Peter Doig. His work seeks to capture both the richness and profound transience of human experience as reflected in the documented landscape.



Please contact Curator, Mariam Neza for any enquiries and pricing: Mariam.Neza@asiahouse.co.uk


May 11, 2017
August 30, 2017
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63 New Cavendish St W1G 7LP United Kingdom
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