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Across from Paradise: New work by Syed Hosain

Opening Reception:

Saturday, April 28th, 6-9pm

Show Runs:

April 28 - June 2, 2018

In Across from Paradise, Syed Hosain’s work suggests a view from a privileged perspective on to the disasters and challenges of living in conflict stricken places, illustrating the close relationship between propaganda and slaughter.

Syed Hosain considers himself a layered Muslim humanist for whom science, logic, spiritual and religious devotion are most sacred realms. But these foundations do not contain the entire world of his painterly vision that is informed by a broad range of practice from the raw renderings of Leon Golub to the refined abstraction of Jack Whitten. Hosain insists on the power of witnessing events in the world and transforming the humor, sorrow and rage he finds there into the faces, landscapes and textures of his canvases.

The subject matter seeks to challenge our vision of the world, exposing its contradictions and complexities, often making the familiar uncanny and exploring the relationship between time, history and memory in domestic and natural ruins. Through the juxtaposition of opposites such as beauty and horror, Hosain engages in conflicting emotions of desire and revulsion, fear and fascination.

Borrowing from meticulously executed nineteenth century-style history painting to loosely painted and abstracted landscape and figuration of the Abstract Expressionists employing visual language from both Eastern and Western histories and art. The source images are derived from a combination of memories, historical books, archives and films. While Hosain often engages with specific and emblematic images and frame searing moments in twenty first century history, the paintings are never prescriptive but rather open to a multitude of possible interpretations.

Syed Hosain is a working artist, stay at home father, and political activist that lives in Minneapolis. Hosain received his bachelor of fine arts degree at the University of Karachi, Pakistan. He has exhibited in the Twin Cities, New York and Pakistan. His work is in many public and private collections including the Foreign Office in Islamabad, Pakistan and AMSUM & ASH in Jaipur, India. He received the Minnesota State Arts Board’s Artist Initiative Grant in 2017 and was a part of the Soap Factory residency program in 2016.

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