LONDON - I had the pleasure of meeting Seher Shah in December at her recent solo exhibition at Jhaveri Contemporary in Mumbai. What struck me the most was how beautifully her monochromatic works blended in with the stark white walls of the gallery space, making it an almost meditative experience. I expressed my delight at her works and she humbly thanked me, telling me that this series was a long time in the making.
Seher Shah’s The Black Star Project. Estimate $12,000 – 18,000.
Named by the Huffington Post as one of ten international artists to watch in 2013, Seher Shah’s corpus consists of enigmatic graphic constructions fuelled by her training as an architect. Navigating memory and space, her work is a product of many dichotomies – interiors and exteriors, translucency and opacity, micro and macro. Formalising the chaotic nature of religion, identity and displacement, Shah was greatly influenced by Brutalist architecture. She begins her works by creating drawings and then integrates imagery within them. Architectural elements such as
grids, lines, walls, columns, planes and blocks feature prominently in her work. Sotheby’s is offering two of her works in the upcoming Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art sale, 19 March 2014: The Black Star Project (Estimate $12,000 – 18,000), a portfolio of 25 archival giclée prints of deconstructed cubic forms and an untitled work (Estimate $6,000 – 8,000), both executed in 2007.
She often plays with scale and proportion, incorporating delicate lines contrasted with monolithic blocks of black. Her palette is not limited by the lack of colour and her seemingly mute spaces express an unspoken dialogue.
Shah has tackled both complex and transcendent topics, making her an artist to watch out for, from the region.