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Indepth Arts News:

"Allan deSouza: people in white houses"
2003-05-10 until 2003-06-16
Talwar Gallery
New York, NY, USA United States of America

Talwar Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new works by Allan deSouza. The exhibition, people in white houses opened to the public on Saturday, May 10, and will be on view through June 16. New works from the ongoing Terrain and Cityscape series are displayed. Also on exhibit for the first time are new photo works of real urban landscape juxtaposing almost-real but imaginary landscapes with the almost-imaginary yet real landscapes.

Beckoning us with their enigmatic yet beautiful distant vistas, deSouza’s landscapes reveal their constituents of dressed up societal refuse. The choice of materials and titles impart irony and expose the immediacy of the works while connecting with the past. On approach, the inhospitability of the desolate, rugged terrain in searching for answers without knowing the questions fades as one discovers the elements of the landscape similar to countless make-shift memorials and actually a beacon for prayers.

In everything west of here is Indian country, the artist metaphorically draws on the White City built for the 1893 Chicago World (Columbian) Exposition to herald the coming of America and establish itself as the new world power. The city, resplendent with its borrowed Greco-Roman facades, reveals a supremacist endeavor, attempting to upstage the previous host of the fair, France, while keeping at bay the economic and racial tribulations.

In madinat-al-salam, (The 7th century City of Peace, now known as Baghdad), a dusty oriental city is created from pills and empty water and milk bottles. The landscape in the Goncourt Brothers stand between Caesar and the Thief of Baghdad, despite its questionable visual authenticity, appears to have been resurrected by current events.

Dispelling the notion of landscape as a neutral entity, deSouza excavates embedded socio-political and cultural codes. While journeying with deSouza, negotiating the space between fact and fiction, one succumbs to the amorphous nature of their distinction. The artist utilizes memory as a unique companion while embarking on the journey through his landscapes. Attracted by their painstaking beauty, on closer examination they reveal our misplaced views and their own ironic nature. Employing photography and digital imaging to his meticulously created sculptural landscapes, deSouza blurs the nature of his discipline to accentuate our questioning and our experience.

Allan deSouza was born in 1958 in Nairobi, Kenya of Indian parents and raised in England. He was educated at the Bath Academy of Art in England and at Goldsmiths College in London. In 1992 he moved to the United States and continued his education in Critical Studies at the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York. In 1997 he received a Master of Fine Arts from UCLA. deSouza’s work has been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions frequently across the US and England, as well as in Canada, Germany, Portugal, South Korea and the Philippines. In New York his works were included in Out of India at the Queens Museum in 1997; Transforming the Crown at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1997. In 2001 he was the Artist-in-residence at Art in General, New York. A performance collaboration with Yong S. Min, Will **** for Peace was held at Mezzanine Gallery in Minneapolis in 2002 and will travel this year to Oboro Gallery, Montreal, Canada. Currently, deSouza’s works are in Un/Familiar Territory at the San Jose Museum of Art, California, and later this year will be seen at Ssamzie Space in Seoul, South Korea and in Looking Both Ways at the Museum of African Art in New York.

Allan deSouza lives and works in Los Angeles.


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