Acrylic, embroidery and mixed media on fabric, 5 ft 9” x 8 ft 9”
The Panthers, 2018
Acrylic, embroidery and mixed media on fabric, 5 ft 2” x 7 ft 8”
Neutral Density, 2018
Acrylic, embroidery and mixed media on fabric, 5 ft 9” x 5 ft 9”
Shezad Dawood (b. 1974, London, UK) lives and works in London, UK.
Dawood works across film, painting and sculpture to deconstruct systems of image, language, site and narrative.
Presenting three new paintings especially conceived for LB01, Dawood reflects on the idea of sovereignty, private property and the politics of space in a pragmatic and oblique look at US-Pakistan relations from the 1950s to the present day. The progression of images used by Dawood plays along the fault lines of the Cold War and cultural osmosis, from Space Invaders to Richard Neutra’s Karachi embassy that never was, from Ronald Reagan to beat, pop and sitar-inflected psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll in Pakistan. Neutral Density revisits celebrated US modernist architect Richard Neutra’s only building in South Asia, part of the US Embassy Building programme initiated in the aftermath of the Second World War as a way to exert US ‘soft power’ around the globe. The Panthers is a portrait of the eponymous 60s/70s Pakistani psychedelic rock band who repatriated the sitar by way of the US West Coast psychedelic rock scene of the 1960s. While Reaganomics looks at the craze for video game arcades that swept Pakistan in the 1980s, a convenient repudiation of Soviet overtures in neighbouring Afghanistan with titles such as Space Invaders and Defender, and a neat follow-up to the use of Science Fiction films as anti-Soviet propaganda in the 1950s. The paintings all use a mixture of denim (or ‘blue jeans’, the key icon of US victory in the Cold War) and other fabrics produced in Pakistan, as their surface – which reflect Dawood’s ongoing exploration of the social mirror that textiles and their histories provide.
Recent solo exhibitions include: A Lost Future: Shezad Dawood, Rubin Museum of Art, New York (2018); Leviathan, Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice (2017); Timothy Taylor, London (2016); Galerist, Istanbul (2016); Pioneer Works, Brooklyn (2015); Fig.2 at the ICA studio, London (2015); Parasol Unit, London; Leeds Art Gallery and OCAT Xi’an, China (all 2014), Modern Art Oxford (2012). And group exhibitions include: The Drawing Room, London (2017); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2016); Taipei Biennial (2014), Marrakech Biennial (2014), MACBA Barcelona (2014), Witte de With (2013), Busan Biennale (2010), Tate Britain, Altermodern (2009), and the Venice Biennale (2009). Selected collections include Tate, Government Art Collection, UK, UBS, The British Museum, London, LACMA, Los Angeles and National Gallery of Canada.
Commissioned by Lahore Biennale Foundation
Installed at LB01 with the generous support of Samad Apparel-A Division of Samad Rubber Works