Transitional Weaves, Installation view
UNIT 7, London, 2022
UNIT 7 is excited to present the debut show of Mohamed Monaiseer (lives and works in Cairo, Egypt), alongside new works by Shubha Taparia (lives and works in London, UK).
‘The two artists brilliantly use well-known symbols in subversive ways: Gold is fused with tarp by Taparia to create a dualistic understanding of transition, time and transformation in sublime sculptural paintings, 2020-2022. Monaiseer on the other hand uses grids, text and writing as his medium to create a painterly language – loaded with cultural and political associations yet deprived of meaning.’ Prahlad Bubbar
We would like to extend our special thank you to Christine Takengny, Senior Curator, for her expertise, and Prahlad Bubbar, leading specialist of South Asian Art and 20th century Art and Design, for his creative input. UNIT 7 has had a great year as an inclusive springboard for ambitious art practices. Some of the highlights of this year have been Crescent a large-scale sculptural, immersive installation by Shubha Taparia and a powerful performance by Zinzi Minott as part of the Brent Biennial 2022.
The show Silent Rhythm will be open until 28 February 2023.
The opening of the exhibition will be accompanied by a brunch reception on Saturday 19th November from 11 am – 1 pm.
Christine Takengny will give an introduction to the exhibition at 12 noon and will lead a tour through the exhibition in the presence of the artists directly after.
UNIT 7. Atlas Business Centre
Oxgate Lane, London NW2 7HJ, UK
T: +44 (0)7742 454 805
Monday – Friday 10 am – 2 pm, other times by appointment
Shubha Taparia is a conceptual artist who often creates her artwork from industrial materials which she encounters in the transient urban landscape. Her new gold-leaf covered sculptural paintings form a new chapter in her ongoing Illumination series. In a laborious and time-consuming process Taparia applies synthetic gold-leaf sheets by hand onto the surface of dark tarpaulin, a material often found on construction sites. The wavy surface of the woven plastic sheets simulates their ‘used’ look, solidified to represent a moment in time. At UNIT 7, Taparia’s art works are presented as wall-mounted sculptures as well as suspended within the space to be viewed from both sides. The artist skilfully draws from Western Art History and from the Indian painting traditions that use gold for highlighting and ornamentation.
Mohamed Monaiseer’s first presentation in London at UNIT 7 features an immersive painting installation depicting labyrinthine patterns and hand-painted gestural works on cloth, that recall Islamic calligraphic traditions. However, Monaiseer’s symbols, applied with ink and acrylic, are illegible and void of any meaning. His large textile pieces can be understood as poetic mind maps, in which the artist almost obsessively repeats forms, symbols and patterns to visualise the passing of time: ‘What I’ve created is calligraphy that cannot be decoded, leading to a paradox, for what you see are words, but words that cannot be read or decrypted. Therefore, they can only be taken in through one’s soul rather than one’s mental concept to experience the essence of this project’ is how the artist describes his practise.
Bringing Taparia and Monaiseer into a dialogue at UNIT 7’s industrial space is visually and conceptually intriguing: Both draw inspiration from found objects, historical traditions and the immediate urban environment that surrounds them in London and Cairo respectively. The idea of the transient translated into poetic abstract imagery is a recurring element in both their practices. Their almost ritualistic repetitive working process radiates inwardness and an atmosphere of meditative silence. By highlighting the material qualities, both artists are radically pushing the boundaries between painting and sculpture.
B. 1975, Ahmedabad, India; lives and works in London, UK
Shubha Taparia is a multidisciplinary artist and curator, based in London since 2001. She is a postgraduate from Central Saint Martins, London, 2007.
Taparia’s most recent exhibitions include: Britannia–Pallas: The Twilight of the Idols, Contemporary Art Museum of Chania, Chania (2021); Crescent (solo), UNIT 7, London (2021-2022);
Taparia’s most recent exhibitions include: Crescent (solo), UNIT 7, London (2021-2022), accompanied by a publication by UNIT 7 with the artist’s works of the past 5 years; Britannia–Pallas: The Twilight of the Idols, Contemporary Art Museum of Chania, Chania (2021); Spirit in the Inanimate (solo), Prahlad Bubbar, London (2019); Memories and Might, collateral project of Kochi–Muziris Biennale at Kashi Gallery, Kochi (2018); Silhouette of an Unknown Landscape (solo, site-specific installation), UNIT 7, London (2018); “Performance” (solo), Slate Projects, London (2018); Prossalendi’s Britannia, Ionian Academy, Corfu (2018); Point of Apoapsis (curated by Shubha Taparia), Prahlad Bubbar, London (2017); Landscape and Silence, collateral project of Kochi–Murziris Biennale at Kashi Gallery, Kochi (2016); Averard Hotel, Slate Projects, London (2016); See In Your Mind’s Eye (solo), Kashi Gallery, Kochi (2015).
Her work has been featured in Forbes, Architects’ Journal, RIBA Journal and FAD magazine, among others. In 2022 she was shortlisted for the Gladstone Park public art commission. She was a finalist of The Creekside Open 2013, selected by Paul Noble and hosted by APT Galleries, London (2013), as well as a finalist of the Arte Laguna Prize, Arsenale, Venice (2013), and the Mostyn Open at Mostyn Galleries, Llandudno (2011). Her works are held in various private and institutional collections in the UK, Italy, Portugal, India, Canada and Greece.
B. 1989, Cairo, Egypt where he lives and works
Mohamed Monaiseer received his BA in Educational Art and MFA from Cairo University.
He has shown in a number of exhibitions including: A Language of Form – Records of Time Tracing, Exhibit 320, New Delhi (2020), Adrift in the Labyrinth of a Parallel Mind (solo), Athr Gallery (2019), Art d’Egypte: Reimagined Narratives, Beit El Suhaymi, Cairo (2019), Taxidermy Dreams (solo), Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, UAE (2019) and Townhouse, Egypt (2018), The Clocks Are Striking Thirteen, Athr Gallery, Jeddah (2019), Out of Place, Athr, Jeddah (2019), Naphtha, Khuzam Palace, Jeddah (2019), Nothing Vanishes Everything Transforms, Manial Palace, Cairo, Egypt (2018), Something Else, Darb 1718, Egypt (2018) Refusing to be Still, 21,39, SAC, Jeddah (2018), Nest, Riwaq Gallery, Bahrain (2017), Barzakh (solo), Safarkhan Gallery, Cairo (2015), The Bridge, (Traveling exhibition), Caravan Arts Europe, USA, Egypt (2015), Roznama 4, Medrar, Cairo (2015), Blind Date, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut (2015), 24th and 25th Youth Salon, Palace of the Arts, Cairo (2014/2015), Muted (solo), Safarkhan Gallery, Cairo (2014), Mohammed Monaiseer (solo), Gezira Art Center, Cairo (2013), Open Exhibition, Townhouse Gallery, Cairo (2013).
Monaiseer was the prize winner of the 25th Youth Salon at the Cairo Opera House (2015), and the Delfina Foundation artist-in-residence, London, UK (2019).
CHRISTINE TAKENGNY holds a MA in Art History and Education (University of Stuttgart) and a MFA in Curating Contemporary Art (Goldsmiths College). She joined the Contemporary Art Society as Senior Curator for Museums Acquisitions in 2011. She was Junior Curator for Modern and Contemporary Art at Ulmer Museum, Germany and Assistant Curator at Gasworks and the Serpentine Gallery. As Associate Curator for Iniva she curated the exhibition Whose Map is it? New Mapping by Artists. Other curated exhibitions include Tina Hage – Universal Pattern (Kunsthalle Göppingen, Germany, 2022); Shifting Gazes (Yinka Shonibare Guestprojects, London, 2014), Mapping Mobilities (Open Space, Vienna, 2012), the online- exhibition Truth: Connecting the Dots (orbits.com, 2011), Ethnocentrix – Museums Inside the Artist (October Gallery, 2009) and Weickmann’s Curiosity Cabinet – Hommage with Georges Adéagbo, Candida Höfer and Mathias Beckmann (Ulmer Museum, 2007) and Curating Fictions, a series of talks at the Whitechapel Gallery. Recent texts she published include ‘Curating in the Age of Postcolonialism and Global Migration – Documenta 10 – 14’ (in: Crossing Borders, Transition and Nostalgia in Contemporary Art, 2019). Since 2016 she regularly writes ‘Friday Dispatches’ for the Contemporary Art Society’s weekly newsletter. Christine Takengny was a Goethe-Institute Stipend for a Curatorial Residency in Seoul, South Korea and a Consultant for LOBE – Berlin. From 2019 – 2021 she was Collection Advisor for the UK charity ‘Paintings in Hospital’ as well as Advisor for the Arts Council’s ‘Ambition for Excellence’ Programme in collaboration with the Northern Centre for Contemporary Art/National Glass Centre in Sunderland.
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