Enter the gallery doors past a magical series of willow and spring flower installations to discover the dark, unsettling world of Raqib Shaw’s art. Beneath the seductive surface of his jewel-encrusted works, you’ll find a disturbing land inhabited by terrifying monkey warriors and other mythical beasts.
Exclusive to Manchester and Prague, this new exhibition comprises recent paintings, sculptures and works on paper.
Shaw has created a striking response to Manchester's famous Cheetah and Stag with Two Indians by George Stubbs for the exhibition. Inspired by the impression the painting made on the artist as a young boy, this provocative new work is on display alongside the original from our collection.
Other major works on display will include Adam, a painted bronze overlaid with black diamonds, sapphires and rubies. The exhibition will also feature a selection of glitter and rhinestone-encrusted acrylic works on paper from Shaw’s recent series Of Beasts and Super-Beasts. First shown in Paris in 2012, these incredibly detailed pieces depict creatures and still lives drawn from the artist’s imagination and highlight Shaw’s passion for drawing.
Raqib Shaw is an Indian-born, London-based artist who shot to fame in the international art world at the age of just 33. His opulent paintings and sculptures evoke the work of Old Masters such as Holbein and Bosch in their treatment of often unsettling subjects. But they also reflect the ornate style of Persian miniatures and Kashmiri and Japanese textiles. Beneath their beautiful jewel-like surface is a collection of dark and violent images inspired by ancient myths and religious tales from both East and Western tradition.
The exhibition is a collaboration between Manchester Art Gallery and Rudolfinum Prague. A full colour publication will accompany the exhibition with an essay by Professor David Lomas.
As part of Shaw’s gift to the city, a exhibition launch party takes place on Valentine’s night, Thursday 14 February from 6-9pm. Save the date now and watch this space for more details.
An Ode to the Dissolving Silk of Dusk, 2011
Whimsy Beastie / COCKYENA, 2012
St Sebastian of the Poppies, 2011-12
Small Adam, 2011
Suite of the Ruby Red Boudoir, 2012, detail