Saad Qureshi is participating in the group show Between at Patrick Heide Contemporary Art in Marylebone. As well as a display of ink drawings, these on white paper, his chapatti sculpture, originally created for Saatchi at Sudeley Castle, and coolly rethought for his Slade Degree Show, is replayed specifically and dramatically for the Church Street site, apparently penetrating the ceiling and continuing in the upper gallery. His black misbaha threaded with human hair is a reminder of Qureshi's background and of his religious commitment. But his pièce de résistance is without doubt a massive and sinister installation that dominates the gallery's ground floor and the view from the street. Two vast black appendages nestle together, testicle-like, suspended from above by thick black cords: heavily-scorched prayermats, their original green still faintly apparent, stuffed with charcoal. This piece is Qureshi’s personal response to a recent shameful and murderous atrocity in Pakistan. It is moving. Beyond words.
The other artists featured in Between are Minjung Kim and Susan Hefuna; it closes on 13 November.
I also enjoyed seeing Qureshi's show Disappearing in Yesterday at Aicon Gallery London until 20 November. Via Dolorosa and Uneasy Landscape, large works in white gloss, with pencil or Urdu newspaper interventions, are astonishingly fresh and unusual additions to contemporary art executed with great skill and feeling. Several ink drawings on buff Chinese paper are clearly very personal pieces which hark to his past (one is reminiscent of his sculpture at Aicon’s Wound show), a triptych in miniature is observed in fine detail, and two works on suede are an interesting subversion of the painting medium, especially the miniature On The Way which, alone on one wall, cannot but attract the eye from the far end of the gallery. A superbly and deceptively simple curation and one of Aicon Gallery's finer shows.
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