Seher Shah The Lightness of Mass in Dubai


(Dubai, March 6th 2016): Green Art Gallery presents The Lightness of Mass, Seher Shah’s first solo show in Dubai. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with essays by Shanay Jhaveri, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Assistant Curator of South Asian Art, and Murtaza Vali, an independent writer and curator based between Brooklyn and Sharjah. From 14 March – 9 May 2016.

Throughout her practice, Seher Shah has consistently re-shaped representation. Working with both drawing and sculpture, she has revisited the mainstays of architectural representational methods—plan, elevation, section—to inject unsettling slippages into their rigorous formalism. If, in the past, her practice has knowingly toyed with the frontier between the resolutely rational and the vaguely visceral, this new body of work fully embraces that visceral slant.

Shah, unsurprisingly, perhaps, given her architecture background, is pre-occupied by forms—from poised Bronze Age monoliths to the sculptural composition of Brutalist buildings. Yet materiality is central toThe Lightness of Mass—the deposit of ink on paper, the coarseness of sand cast iron, even the drawn line operates as an almost palpable material component in large-scale drawings. Shah interrogates time not only by foregrounding the natural weathering of man-made materials—the slowly oxidizing iron sculptures echo the time-worn stone of hewn megaliths—but also by navigating the role of memory in the process of seeing.

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