‘Raqib Shaw’s paintings allow the viewer to travel between the natural beauties of Kashmir and his home in South London. Here, the artist has constructed his own memory paradise with views onto distant cities and pastoral landscapes. Executed with meticulous detail and a unique command of colour, each painting demands time to reveal its wonders.’
– Norman Rosenthal
‘Palazzo della Memoria’ is a selection of twelve paintings by Raqib Shaw, an artist who was raised in Kashmir and now lives and works in London. Referencing works by great Venetian masters such as Tintoretto and Giorgione and the Roman painter Pannini, Shaw depicts his own exquisite city garden as the backdrop for the now-lost world of Kashmir and the imaginary paradise of a childhood tinged with contemporary melancholy.
Beginning with detailed drawing, Shaw employs acrylic liner and enamel paint to create a tracery of raised lines on the painting’s surface, into which the paint is pooled and blended using a porcupine quill. The effect of this highly refined technique is one of astonishing intricacy and tactility.
Often monumental in scale, the paintings combine many influences: from old master paintings to the traditions of Islamic miniature, from the poetry of Ovid to the Persian and Indian cultures to which he belongs. Condensing time and space, Shaw’s paintings traverse places, seasons, myths and epochs.