'Squad: The Calling of the Common Hero, Photography by Faisal Abdu'Allah' opens at the Chazen

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'Squad: The Calling of the Common Hero, Photography by Faisal Abdu'Allah' opens at the Chazen
Faisal Abdu’Allah (British, b. 1969), Gilgamesh, 2015, photograph on Hahnemuhle paper, 116 1/2 x 60 in.

MADISON, WI.- Conceived by Prof. Faisal Abdu'Allah and developed collaboratively with UW–Madison students, this exhibition extends themes Abdu'Allah explored in his 2007 London show Goldfinger, and in Adeve, a project created at Stanford University in 2010.

Abdu'Allah’s work reflects his deep engagement with both the physical and metaphysical properties of material. Using traditional printmaking techniques he has explored a range of projects with an unconventional use of print media. His work provides us with social commentary on the nature of displacement, privilege, and cultural assumptions.

Expressly for this show, Abdu'Allah has created eleven larger-than-life portraits of Squad members, which critique the concept and visage of the super-hero. Smaller portraits created using human hair accompany the Squad portraits and comment on the physiological, embodied image of identity and resistance. This further highlights Abdu’Allah’s ongoing concern with materiality, alchemy, and iconography. Included in the exhibition are two works shown for the first time in the United States. The Last Supper I and The Last Supper II (1996), were re-created in 2011 as photo-realist tapestries.

His recreation of The Last Supper pulls the viewer into the tableau and plays with our assumptions about how images represent, or fail to represent, identity.

Trained at the Royal College of Art in London, Abdu'Allah has exhibited internationally in Europe, in a number of galleries in London and the United Kingdom including the Tate Britain and the Serpentine. He has additionally participated in the Sharjah Biennale, Turin Biennale and 55th Venice Biennale. A major survey of his work, The Art of Dislocation, was presented in 2012 at the Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno in Las Palmas, Spain. Abdu'Allah is an associate professor in the department of art at the UW–Madison.

The exhibition is on view at the Chazen Museum of Art from July 24th through September 27th 2015.

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