Irfan Cheema - Tableaux

Opening Reception: 
4 Feb 2019
4:30pm - 7:30pm
Tanzara Gallery

Tanzara Gallery takes great pleasure in presenting the works of Shanghai based Pakistani artist Irfan Cheema living and working in Shanghai since 2005. He is a self taught painter and has developed his technique through extensive study of classical realism.
In fine art, the expression 'still life' denotes a particular genre of painting, usually consisting of an array of items laid out on a table. The expression is a direct translation of the Dutch word 'Stilleven', which was used from 1656 to illustrate paintings previously called simply 'Fruit' or 'Flower Pieces', or 'Ontbijt' (Breakfast Piece), Bancket (banquet) or Pronkstilleven pieces (from the Dutch word 'pronk' meaning ostentation. Some of the greatest still life paintings contain complex messages symbolized in the manifestation of objects displayed and the manner in which they are arranged- Hence when viewing a still-life composition, the viewer must be conscious that the items displayed may be symbols, infusing the painting with symbolic significance.
Cheema is a realist painter, but his paintings are more than an imitation of what is seen. He has the magic of capturing the essence of the vignette that he replicates on canvas. Beyond realism he understands his subject matter well. His canvases are well balanced and the imagery strong and fascinating- one can almost taste and touch the fruit or smell the fragrance of the roses and lilies that he renders skillfully. He intricately works his still life compositions depicting fruits at the peak of ripeness or flowers in full bloom. In his recent work he moves away from simply using fruit and flowers in their pure form for still life portraiture, by incorporating birds and embroidered Kashmiri textiles, infusing a different dimension to his work that refreshingly generates a significant sense of existence and rich heritage. His skillful use of color invigorates his subjects and breathes life and vitality into each composition. For instance, in ‘Still life with Finches & Strawberries’ his tantalizing use of red gives the berries a succulent appearance. His work, overall celebrates nature, life and creative heritage of places that he has visited, lived in and loved!
We look forward to welcoming you along with the artist present at the opening of this prestigious show!