Yusuf Contemporary (Asian Art Gallery)

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Operating as usual


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You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.”

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Yusuf - part 2.

Yusuf - part 2.

Yusuf - part 1.

Yusuf - part 1.

19th October 2010BirthLaunch exhibitionYusuf Contemporary Gallery, London Reviewed by James Brewer (www.globalnewsbox.co...

19th October 2010BirthLaunch exhibitionYusuf Contemporary Gallery, London Reviewed by James Brewer (www.globalnewsbox.com)

Edgware Road in London leads to... well, Edgware, but just before it runs its course it leads to a new art gallery that has just opened in a most unexpected setting. As this unlovely highway feeds its thundering traffic into Burnt Oak and other northern suburbs, it passes on the left a Mercedes Benz showroom and on the right one of the spacious depots of fci , a company which adopts lower case lettering for its logo, but upper case lifestyle in interior design.
It is the furniture store that has taken up a role in the art world. This emporium of sofas, sideboards, wall panelled units, kitchens, beds and extendable tables of more than a score of designer brands, has become the home of a comfortably-sized commercial art gallery. Turn right once you are deep into the store, and the space is dedicated to Yusuf Contemporary, which is going to stage 10 exhibitions a year of paintings, sculpture, multimedia and installations.
How did the gallery come to be here? It is the result of a chance meeting between art entrepreneur Khozema Patanwala and art enthusiast Firdaus Nagree, director of fci. In its inaugural exhibition, appropriately entitled Birth, there are 52 works on display. These reflect the strategy of promoting works predominantly by Asian, and particularly Indian, artists.
Within this mandate, the first show exudes originality and variety. Among the standouts are two works by an artist known simply as Nurjan, of British/Turkish Cypriot/Pakistani heritage. She applies many tiny Swarovski crystals to mirrors, with stunning effect, fusing ancient Islamic and Western influences.
Manoj Sinha, who lives and works in the city of Baroda in Gujarat, took seven months to paint in acrylics an epic canvas of socio-religious comment, entitled My Maha Bharata – The Agony and the Ecstasy of Mother India. He sets dramatic episodes from today’s India in the context of the 1.8m word Sanskrit poem which insists “One should not abandon dharma (righteousness) at any cost.” In the largest work of this exhibition, dozens of characters – the poor, members of the untouchable castes, the middle classes, holy men, entertainers, troops beating protesters, tribal people, an archbishop -- mill about, raising their eyes to heaven or to the viewer, seeking salvation, or our sympathy. Intricate detail enthralls our eyes and makes it hard to turn away.
London-based Sheila Malhotra shows three of her works of oil and mixed media inspired by her earlier days voyaging on merchant navy ships, accompanying her husband, a cargo ship master. She developed the novel theme of painting the world through a porthole, for her the only liberating link between a ship cabin and the outside world. The result is a delightfully surprisingsurrealism of the sea, with artefacts of the maritime world floating into vision in a graceful or even ghostly manner.
Khozema Patanwala sees investment in Indian art, as yet only lightly, appreciated on the international scene, as one of the next big things. This launch, with works so rich in colour, drama and depth, should help set this ball rolling.
Yusuf Contemporary gallery, FCI House, Edgware Road, Colindale, London NW9.

Images used: My Maha Bharata - The agony and ecstasy of Mother India. By Manoj Sinha

Courtesy: Yusuf Contemporary Art Gallery




the paintings are on the wall, the red carpet is getting dusted off, champagne is getting chilled...


Yusuf Contemporary, Fci, Rays House, North Circular Rd.
NW10 7XP

Hanger Lane Tube Station

Opening Hours

Monday 10am - 6pm
Tuesday 10am - 6pm
Wednesday 10am - 6pm
Thursday 10am - 6pm
Friday 10am - 6pm
Saturday 10am - 6pm
Sunday 11am - 5pm




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