Property from a Private Collection, Dubai

Ali Kazim

Sleep III

Auction Closed

October 25, 02:50 PM GMT


10,000 - 15,000 GBP

Lot Details


Property from a Private Collection, Dubai

Ali Kazim

b. 1979

Sleep III

Pigments on wasli paper

74 x 54 cm. (29 ⅛ x 21 ¼ in.)

Executed in 2008

Acquired from Green Cardamom Gallery, London, 2009

Ali Kazim's practice is rooted in the close study of the tradition of realism. He trained at the National College of Arts, Lahore, and later at the Slade School, London, but has always kept South Asian art as a primary source of influence. The NCA in Lahore is renowned for their syllabus including the very refined details captured in the art of centuries-old miniature painting. In 2019, Kazim became the first South Asian Artist-in-Residence at the University of Oxford, invited to create works inspired by artefacts in the collection of the Ashmolean Museum, for the show - Ali Kazim: Suspended in Time (2022).

Wanting to dedicate himself to the depiction of the human form without any external distraction, Kazim often uses photographs of strangers as the subject of his portraits and they are depicted against plain coloured backgrounds. In Sleep III, the subject is treated with immense care. The delicate execution is enhanced by the artist's adoption of traditional hand-made Indian wasli paper, the medium typically used for miniature paintings. The apparent simplicity of the composition, and the subject’s closed eyes and unassuming position, invite the viewer to be enveloped in this sleepy world woven by Kazim.

In a recent interview, Ali Kazim comments: "A single figure is more about its inward-looking beauty and character". (M. K. Landrus, Ali Kazim. Suspended in Time, University of Oxford, 2022, p. 13)

Through a delicate and thoughtful approach to his work, Kazim fuses a deep fascination with South Asian naturalism and the ‘inward-looking beauty’ he seeks to present.