Critic's Pick
February
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February 2012
MANAMA
CAPITAL OF
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2012
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Selected works from the
38th Annual Fine Arts Exhibition
REFLECTION is a show of transformation.  For the past forty years, Rashid’s work - chronologically and stylistically - validates that
experimentation was and remains to be the life force of his art. From his canonical ‘convex’ of the previous decade, he continually
explored ways in which the past can be reshaped over time and transformed across cultural boundaries.
In this new body of work, created in 2011-12, Rashid combines Minimalist aesthetics, neo pop and participatory art - in a rapid-fire
visual compendium of ‘reflection’ in chrome-plated ‘convex.’
REFLECTION is an art of participation. Rashid’s art is not embodied in the painting, it is a path from absence to presence and
participation is fundamental to the process of creation and conclusion of these works. The forms and shapes is the result of self-
expression, they are individualistic, but they extend from the intangible artistic realm to the viewers to create possibilities for meaning.
His vision and innovative power of reflection broke down the barriers around his art to share the authorship with the viewer hoping to
motivate self-reflection through investigation and participation in his avant-garde visuals.  Upon an encountering Rashid’s art,
individual introspection is released and the freedom to create a personal world develops into a dialogue that is sinuous and
uncertain, and the outcome in multiple layers of meaning freely emerge, adapt and grow - in a body of thought that is a reflection of
the moment.
The integral aspect of this exhibition is its self-reflective dimension as it explores the neurobiology of imagination in an environment
of dialogue that depicts the intermingling of the artist, the art and the viewer - of sight and insight.
As the title suggests, Rashid fuses memories of the past and the present both from his private sphere and the artistic realm. He
contains his paint work in Colour-field and looping lines on geometric simplicities of Minimalist lineage to powerful effects, producing
alternate readings of his inner world and touches on synchronicity which is resonant in our present interesting times. At the same
time, he underlines the perpetual inscrutability of Reflection and place viewers in a position to give meaning to looking. 
An interesting dialectic comes to play when a viewer encounters the mirror-like chrome paintings; one is immersed in its
boundlessness. It creates an impact into one’s imaginative process and influences self-reflection, inflecting language with the tone
of one’s utterance. It becomes an avenue for looking at the past that imposes subjective excavations, burrowing into matters with
difference in real-time and the artistic realm - the “art of reflection.”
As Rashid Al Khalifa continues to push further to contemporaneity, he works at the border that divides objecthood from painting and
“convex” comes back into focus.  Because for Rashid, convex’ is soul of his painting and colour is his material- and is always
indubitably his own.
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The art of
REFLECTION
by Elizabeta Banacek