In 2013, visitors entered the gallery doors past a magical series of willow and spring flower installations to discover recent paintings, sculptures and works on paper by Raqib Shaw. Beneath the seductive surface of his jewel-encrusted works, there lies a disturbing land inhabited by terrifying monkey warriors and other mythical beasts. Especially or the exhibition Shaw created a striking response to Manchester’s famous Cheetah and Stag with Two Indians by George Stubbs. Inspired by the impression the painting made on the artist as a young boy, this provocative work was on display alongside the original from our collection.
Other major works on display included Adam, a painted bronze overlaid with black diamonds, sapphires and rubies. The exhibition also featured a selection of glitter and rhinestone-encrusted acrylic works on paper from Shaw’s recent series Of Beasts and Super-Beasts. First shown in Paris in 2012, these incredibly detailed pieces depict creatures and still lives drawn from the artist’s imagination and highlight Shaw’s passion for drawing.
The exhibition was a collaboration between Manchester Art Gallery and Rudolfinum Prague.
Installation photograph courtesy Manchester Art Gallery.
Artworks photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd, Ben Westoby, Todd-White Art Photography, Ellen Broughton and Stephen White