An artistic journey into the multi-facetted œuvre of Rashid Al Khalifa from the 1980s to 2019
Camels at Rumaitha Wadi, 1983
Rashid Al Khalifa’s atmospheric paintings from the 1980s present us with the artist’s first desert inspirations, whereby he was drawn to and expressed the tranquillity of the landscape of his native country.
Riffa Wadi, 1983
Rashid was drawn to and expressed the tranquillity of the landscape of his native country through deserts.
Wadi paintings from the 1980s convey Rashid’s deep reverence for the waters of Bahrain. This connection to these waters has long been part of the consciousness of this island nation owing to a long-standing history of trade and travel as well as to the wadis and aquifers that contribute to the unique topography of the land.
Rashid Al Khalifa has been painting the feminine form, or that which is suggestive of it, since the 1980s. What has arisen are various archetypes, alluding to varying forms of the feminine that prevail in society and that illuminate a woman’s path.
Les Roses de Bagatelle, 2018
Despite there being such distinct stylistic differences in Rashid’s expression of the feminine over the years, a need to express sacred feminine symbolism has continued to arise.
Rashid Al Khalifa has continually explored different means in which to express equilibrium and has experimented with various materials on his journey towards symmetry. By omitting details within his paintings, Rashid naturally progressed towards minimalism and what arose was the significance of the circle, a symbol that appears regularly in his work.
Black and Orange, 2014
Cosmic in nature, the central point of works such as this, often appears detached from the background and floating in space. These works are meditative in nature, Rashid’s own, personal mandalas.
Shore Waves, 2016
Rashid is drawn to and has continued to express the tranquillity of the landscape of his native country, throughout his work, most recently through minimalistic aluminium pieces. Inherent of the same awareness of shadow and light, these works evoke a similar contemplative austerity as his older, more illustrative imagery.
Blue Parametric, 2018
Geometry that exists in the natural environment is often seen replicated in traditional forms of architecture. Inspired by traditional Bahraini architectural features, Rashid Al Khalifa’s most recent parametric work recalls his atmospheric work from the mid-2000s.
Green Parametric I, 2019
Repetition of form combined with the play of shadow and light, can create the illusion of movement and in many ways, these works appear like undulating currents of water or rippling expanses of vegetation.
Rashid Al Khalifa, In Parallel
‘In Parallel’ interprets artist Rashid Al Khalifa’s artistic œuvre by considering the interconnectedness of styles that define certain periods. Beginning with landscape painting in the ‘70s and continuing on to minimalistic, parametric structures that Rashid has exhibited most recently, his vast body of work has seen distinct shifts in style through varied use of mediums. However, the recurrence of certain sentiments resonates throughout.
Matte, aluminum installations from 2012 onwards, recall his desert landscapes from the ‘70s, whereby the shadows cast by the soft desert light in these early landscape paintings, reawaken decades later in his minimalistic dunes and eclipses. Mirrored pieces from the 2010’s, call to mind the reflective, fluidity of water and the susceptibility of Bahrain’s desert wadis, a regular feature of his paintings from the ‘80s.
Feminine, wispy and emotive forms of the ‘80s and ‘90s, transpire in his lustrous lacquer paintings that began in the late 2000’s, only to reemerge a decade later in his immaculate enamel rose series. The symmetry, geometric precision and bold hues of colour that define his most recent parametric forms are reminiscent of both his interest in the functionality of traditional Bahraini architecture, as well as the manner wherein these repetitive elemental structures react with their natural environment.
Rashid Al Khalifa
2019 curated by Yasmin Sharabi