He is Successful who Grows in Purity, 2007, dates from Shezad Dawood's first major London solo show at Paradise Row, 'If I Should Fall from Grace with God', in which the half-Indian, half-Pakistani, London based artist exhibited a powerful body of work about the clashing cultures of East and West. In the present work, the graceful calligraphy references Islam's 99 Names of God and was juxtaposed with paintings of cowboys and vitrines of tumbleweed which alluded to the myths and traditions of the American Wild West, especially as articulated by the Western film genre. Avoiding the obvious, Dawood presents an interesting reflection on the conflict. As Ana Finel Honigman said in her review of the show for Art in America, "In [Dawood's] view, the Iraq war is not a contest between modernity and its antecedents, or between a culture fixated on static abstract symbols and a slick, worldly society obsessed with the future at the cost of traditional values. Instead, he portrays a battle between two cultures' unyielding devotion to anachronistic systems of self-representation." (Ana Finel Honigman, 'Shezad Dawood at Paradise Row' in Art in America, April 2008)
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