Talwar Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of works by Allan deSouza. On view are works from the ongoing Terrain and Cityscape series. Also on view are 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. On approach, in search for answers without knowing the questions, the lack of hospitability of the desolate terrain fades as one discovers the elements of the landscape alluding to countless make-shift memorials and a beacon for prayer.
"Landscape is the depiction of a section of land, and my interest is in the cultural conventions and values we attach to the land as territory-how we imagine it, who occupies it, who inhabits it, who can travel through it, who can even look..."
In everything west of here is Indian country, the artist metaphorically draws on the White City 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 by simultaneously attempting to upstage the previous host of the fair and considering the economic and racial tribulations. In Madinat-al-Salam, a dusty, oriental city has been created from pills as well as water and milk bottles. The landscape in the Goncourt Brothers appears to have been resurrected by current events, despite its questionable visual authenticity.
While engaging with the works by the artist, negotiating the space between fact and fiction, one succumbs to the amorphous nature of their distinction and the unique implementation of memory as companion. After being attracted to the painstaking beauty of the works, the viewer will notice on closer examination how they reveal our misplaced views with their ironic nature. deSouza employs photography and digital imaging to his meticulously created sculptural landscapes, blurring the nature of his discipline to accentuate the extent of our questioning and experience. Dispelling the notion of landscape as a neutral entity, deSouza excavates embedded socio-political and cultural codes.
Allan deSouza was born of Indian parents in Kenya and was later 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, then received his Masters of Fine Arts from UCLA (1997). deSouza’s work have been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions frequently across the US and England, as well as in Canada, Germany, Portugal 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. deSouza’s works have also been exhibited at Pompidou Centre, Paris; International Center of Photography, NY; Museum Kunst Palast, Germany; Museum for African Art, NY; Smithsonian Museum, DC; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Gwangju Biennale, Korea and 3rd Guangzhou Triennale, China; and in recent solo exhibitions at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SF; Fowler Museum, LA; Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL.Allan deSouza lives and works in the Bay Area, California, where he is a Professor in the Department of Art Practice at the University of California, Berkeley.