Penumbra: Textured, Shadow, Coloured Light
In the current exhibition Penumbra: Textured, Shadow, Coloured Light at Saatchi Gallery, Rashid Khalifa explores contrasts between the internal vs. external and the light vs. dark through metal and aluminium installations. With these synthetic materials, Khalifa fabricated organic elements — lights, shadows, and textures. The first exhibition space takeovers the monumental polychromatic maze, Penumbra which delivers light values and depths throughout the architectural structure. Viewers physically engage into the installation where various lights and shadows are created by the steel grids and its openings. In juxtaposed to the rigid geometric structures, the installation gives a breeze and interchangeable point of views as walking through the maze.
Amongst Khalifa’s artworks in the exhibition, I personally resonated with his wall installations, Parametric Sculpture series. The series of works are created with individual matte enamels on aluminium that are interlocked with one another, creating three-dimensional aspects yet a delicate flow against the flatness of the wall. For my interests in what painting can explore beyond the picture plane, Khalifa’s approaches of the lights, forms and perspectives in Parametric Sculpture series appeared moreover. It demonstrates how our perception is affected by the material, colour, light, and shadow. In appreciation of the rationale of painting, my studies focus on exploring the potentials of the canvas surface and the way Khalifa (as a painter) integrated sculptures in a painterly manner allowed me a new direction to think of contemporary painting.