Ibrahim El-Salahi, Meditation Tree, 2018.
SALON, in collaboration with Roubi L'Roubi, is delighted to present Forests and Spirits: Figurative art from the Khartoum School, an exhibition of recent works by Sudanese artists Salah Elmur, Kamala Ishaq and Ibrahim El-Salahi.
Opening on 28 September, the show is comprised of 14 medium and large-scale paintings - 9 by Elmur and 5 by Ishaq - and a single sculpture, Meditation Tree (2018), by El-Salahi*.
Conceived by Roubi L'Roubi, curator of the Foundation Gallery, and Philippa Adams, Saatchi Gallery's Director, Forests and Spirits seeks to bring wider attention to contemporary African art, and in particular the enduring influence of the Khartoum School. Formed in the 1960s, the Khartoum School was an art movement centred around the city's College of Fine and Applied Arts, the institution which has itself been pivotal in the development of contemporary art in Africa. Ishaq and El-Salahi, are among its founders, while Elmur was a pupil in the 1980s when Ishaq, a former graduate, was head of painting.
In this landmark presentation, Ishaq and Elmur's paintings will be displayed around El-Salahi's Meditation Tree. His first sculpture, the work fulfils the artist's long-held ambition to render his drawn images in three dimensions and to play with their scale. The work, part of his 'Tree' series, was inspired by the characteristics of a peculiar type of acacia tree called Haraz. Indigenous to Sudan, the Haraz is of great cultural, spiritual and economical significance - the country's largest export, gum Arabic, is harvested from it - and forms part of the artist's ongoing investigation of the tree/body metaphor, a link between heaven and earth, creator and created.
(Photo courtesy of the artist and Vigo Gallery.)