Hormazd Narielwalla: Reinterpreting The Human Form Through The Cubist Legacy
Over 40 new works by the emerging artist Hormazd Narielwalla will be featured in his second solo exhibition in the UK. Artlyst met up with the artist in his new studio in East London for an exclusive preview and chat about his influences and the ideas behind his latest body of work.
Narielwalla’s art is in its essence a meditation on the human condition. His unique collages take as their starting point the classic brown paper of discarded Savile Row tailoring patterns and reinterpret the human form building on the legacy of Cubism. Narielwalla transforms these sartorial blueprints into vital, contemporary artworks, breathing life into obsolete patterns created for a person long dead. Freed from function these patterns can be seen as abstract drawings in their own right and, like architecture, as outlines for spaces to contain and define the human body.
Hormazd discussed the influences behind his latest series of work, which will be on show at the Foundry Gallery in London from 1 June. Narielwalla is one of the few emerging artists who don’t have to be afraid to take on the giants. Influences by Matisse and Picasso in both skill and intellectual depth effortlessly find their place in his very own and authentic artistic language. During a walk through the studio he introduces us to inner circle of works for this upcoming exhibition: new large-scale works in three of his ongoing series: collages based on 1970s luxury lingerie designs (‘Lady Gardens’), antique magazine inserts (‘Le Petit Echo de la Mode’) and 1920s tailoring manuals (‘Hungarian Peacocks’). The colours range from the subtle and understated sombre tones to the full-bodied and bold approach that the artist has become known for. All of his large-scale collages are inspired by vintage tailoring patterns, but especially in these new works Narielwalla explores the connection with architecture, inspired by Le Corbusier, who in turn looked to the buildings of classical architects such as Vitruvius, - appreciating the relationship between the proportions of the human body and architecture, both aesthetically and functionally.
He explains: “If you look at tailoring patterns as geometrical abstractions that represent the body in sections, then they are not unlike the modular system of Le Corbusier’s buildings in Chandigarh. The artworks become a metaphor for our bodies and the architectural spaces we live in. What I wanted with this exhibition, Body Architecture, is to explore the relationship between the physical body and architectural landscapes. And there is also a particular reference to India, the place where I grew up.”
Narielwalla, born 1979, lives and works in London. A special selection his work can currently be seen close to his studio, at Salt & Pegram’s showroom on Princelet Street, London. His first solo show, Study on Anansi, was sponsored and exhibited by Sir Paul Smith in 2009. His work has then been commissioned by the Crafts Council for the national touring exhibit Block Party (2011) and Collect 13 at the Saatchi Gallery (2013). Over the past years there have been many collaborations and associations, including Centre of Possible Studies/Serpentine Gallery; Beams Tokyo; V&A Museum Shop; Artbelow; Jigsaw; Tiger of Sweden; Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill and CHART gallery. Today his work is held in public and private collections worldwide. The artist holds a PhD from University of Arts, London, and is the author of the biography of Master Tailor Michael Skinner, The Savile Row Cutter (Benefactum, 2011). In 2013 Saatchi Art online magazine announced Narielwalla as ‘One to Watch’and in 2014 he won their Showdown Art prize. In 2014 he had a solo show at the India Art Fair in Delhi and in 2015 he had his first museum show at the Museum of Fashion in Bath, UK.
title="Virtual Reality, Virtual Tour"
Body Architecture will be on view at the Foundry Gallery, presented by Saatchi Art, from 1st to 10th June, 2016. The exhibition portfolio will be online from 1st June at: saatchiart.com/show/narielwalla2 and his work can also be found here: www.narielwalla.com
Photos Top and Bottom: P C Robinson © artlyst 2016 Middle courtesy the artist all rights reserved
BODY ARCHITECTURE New Work by Hormazd Narielwalla 1–10 June 2016, The Foundry Gallery, London