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ALLAN deSOUZA

Trysts Tropicales

February 10 - April 2, 2011

Cezanne, 2010  C-Print  16" x 12"

Cezanne, 2010  C-Print  16" x 12"


Talwar Gallery is pleased to present, Trysts Tropicales, an exhibition of works by Allan deSouza. These works build on deSouza’s continued engagement with manifestations of desire and loss, whether through the personal or collective experience of the colonial encounter and its legacies.

In Trysts Tropicales, Allan deSouza stages the lingering traces of “colonialism’s culture” as a complex of elusive desires and lost fantasies. On view are two bodies of photographic works, Rdctns and Third Eye. In the Rdctns series, deSouza revisits paintings by Paul Gauguin and Henri Rousseau. The two iconic modernist artists were selected as different tropes of escape, Rousseau having never left France yet creating tropical fantasies, and Gauguin who was constantly traveling in search of a physical paradise. In the Third Eye series, deSouza replays his own encounter with Western art history through a series of self-portraits by different canonical artists, from Leonardo da Vinci to Andy Warhol.

At first sight, the works in both series might appear as color abstractions, but a closer viewing reveals their figurative sources. The dominant color in each work is determined from a particular spot in the original painting: in the Rdctns, the color is chosen from the “furthest point,” usually the horizon line; while in the Third Eye the color is selected from the mid-forehead of each self-portrait, the site of the proverbial “third eye.” Each work is created from a laborious process of digital “erasure” that falls somewhere between rubbing out and a rubbing, bringing the illusionistic depths––the lost horizons––to the literal surface of each image.

"These might be abstractions but they have very real consequences, so as an artist it's not a question of abstraction or representation but to use whatever vocabularies are necessary to make the image strange or newly encountered, and to direct the viewer to what informs our framing values."

Allan DeSouza

Chinaberry (jdth), 2010  C-Print, 55" x 40"

Chinaberry (jdth), 2010  C-Print, 55" x 40"


Allan deSouza’s works have been exhibited extensively including at The Pompidou Centre, Paris; Museum Kunst Palast, Germany; Moderna Museet, Sweden; Mori Art Museum, Japan; Johannesburg Art Gallery, South Africa; Hayward Gallery, UK; International Center of Photography, NY; Stedelijk Museum, The Netherlands; Museo Tamayo, Mexico; Memphis Brooks Museum, TN;  Museum for African Art, NY; Smithsonian Museum, DC; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Gwangju Biennale, Korea; 3rd Guangzhou Triennale, China; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SF; Fowler Museum, LA; Blaffer Art Museum, TX; and Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL. In 2011, on an invitation by The Phillip’s Collection, deSouza created The World Series in response to Lawrence’s Migration Series, and his work was subsequently featured in a solo exhibition at the museum along with Lawrence’s works.

deSouza was born in 1958 in Nairobi, Kenya to immigrant parents of Indian descent and grew up in the United Kingdom. In 1983, he graduated from the Bath Academy of Fine Art, England with a BA in Fine Art (Honors). From 1993-1994 he pursued Critical Studies at the Whitney Independent Studies Program in New York, USA. He obtained his MFA in Photography from UCLA, California, USA in 1997.

He lives and works in the Bay Area, California, where he is Chair of the Department of Art Practice at University of California, Berkeley. His recent publications include “How Art Can Be Thought: A Handbook for Change” (2018) and “Ark of Martyrs” (2020).

Exhibition Views

Exhibition Views Thumbnails
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Turtle (tgrntrpclstrm),  2010, C – Print
Turtle (tgrntrpclstrm)
Turtle (tgrntrpclstrm),  2010, C – Print

Turtle (tgrntrpclstrm),  2010

C – Print

55" x 40"

Palm Coast (whyryngry), 2010, C – Print
Palm Coast (whyryngry)
Palm Coast (whyryngry), 2010, C – Print

Palm Coast (whyryngry), 2010

C – Print

55" x 40"

Secret Garden (mnwthx), 2010, C – Print
Secret Garden (mnwthx)
Secret Garden (mnwthx), 2010, C – Print

Secret Garden (mnwthx), 2010

C – Print

55" x 40"

Oriental Iris (wmnbthg), 2010, C – Print
Oriental Iris (wmnbthg)
Oriental Iris (wmnbthg), 2010, C – Print

Oriental Iris (wmnbthg), 2010

C – Print

55" x 40"

Chinaberry (jdth), 2010, C – Print
Chinaberry (jdth)
Chinaberry (jdth), 2010, C – Print

Chinaberry (jdth), 2010

C – Print

55" x 40"

Calypso (wmnndchldrn), 2010, C – Print
Calypso (wmnndchldrn) 
Calypso (wmnndchldrn), 2010, C – Print

Calypso (wmnndchldrn), 2010

C – Print

55" x 40"

Imperial (wmnwthflwr), 2010, C – Print
Imperial (wmnwthflwr)
Imperial (wmnwthflwr), 2010, C – Print

Imperial (wmnwthflwr), 2010

C – Print

55" x 40"

Polar Sky (fghtbtwntgrnbffl), 2010, C – Print
Polar Sky (fghtbtwntgrnbffl)
Polar Sky (fghtbtwntgrnbffl), 2010, C – Print

Polar Sky (fghtbtwntgrnbffl), 2010

C – Print

55" x 40"

Mango (mrcnndnstrgglngwthgrll), 2010, C – Print
Mango (mrcnndnstrgglngwthgrll)
Mango (mrcnndnstrgglngwthgrll), 2010, C – Print

Mango (mrcnndnstrgglngwthgrll), 2010

C – Print

55" x 40"

Da Vinci, 2010, C – Print
Da Vinci
Da Vinci, 2010, C – Print

Da Vinci, 2010

C – Print

17" x 13"

Picasso, 2010, C – Print
Picasso
Picasso, 2010, C – Print

Picasso, 2010

C – Print

17" x 13"

Van Gogh, 2010, C – Print
Van Gogh
Van Gogh, 2010, C – Print

Van Gogh, 2010

C – Print

17" x 13"

Naumann, 2010, C – Print
Nauman
Naumann, 2010, C – Print

Naumann, 2010

C – Print

17" x 13"

Schiele, 2010, C – Print
Schiele
Schiele, 2010, C – Print

Schiele, 2010

C – Print

17" x 13"

Cezanne, 2010, C – Print
Cezanne
Cezanne, 2010, C – Print

Cezanne, 2010

C – Print

17" x 13"

Warhol, 2010, C – Print
Warhol
Warhol, 2010, C – Print

Warhol, 2010

C – Print

17" x 13"

Mapplethorpe, 2010, C – Print
Mapplethorpe
Mapplethorpe, 2010, C – Print

Mapplethorpe, 2010

C – Print

17" x 13"

Close,  2010, C – Print
Close
Close,  2010, C – Print

Close,  2010

C – Print

17" x 13"

Miro,  2010, C – Print
Miro
Miro,  2010, C – Print

Miro,  2010

C – Print

17" x 13"

Matisse,  2010, C – Print
Matisse
Matisse,  2010, C – Print

Matisse,  2010

C – Print

55" x 40"

Turtle (tgrntrpclstrm),  2010, C – Print

Turtle (tgrntrpclstrm),  2010

C – Print

55" x 40"

Palm Coast (whyryngry), 2010, C – Print

Palm Coast (whyryngry), 2010

C – Print

55" x 40"

Secret Garden (mnwthx), 2010, C – Print

Secret Garden (mnwthx), 2010

C – Print

55" x 40"

Oriental Iris (wmnbthg), 2010, C – Print

Oriental Iris (wmnbthg), 2010

C – Print

55" x 40"

Chinaberry (jdth), 2010, C – Print

Chinaberry (jdth), 2010

C – Print

55" x 40"

Calypso (wmnndchldrn), 2010, C – Print

Calypso (wmnndchldrn), 2010

C – Print

55" x 40"

Imperial (wmnwthflwr), 2010, C – Print

Imperial (wmnwthflwr), 2010

C – Print

55" x 40"

Polar Sky (fghtbtwntgrnbffl), 2010, C – Print

Polar Sky (fghtbtwntgrnbffl), 2010

C – Print

55" x 40"

Mango (mrcnndnstrgglngwthgrll), 2010, C – Print

Mango (mrcnndnstrgglngwthgrll), 2010

C – Print

55" x 40"

Da Vinci, 2010, C – Print

Da Vinci, 2010

C – Print

17" x 13"

Picasso, 2010, C – Print

Picasso, 2010

C – Print

17" x 13"

Van Gogh, 2010, C – Print

Van Gogh, 2010

C – Print

17" x 13"

Naumann, 2010, C – Print

Naumann, 2010

C – Print

17" x 13"

Schiele, 2010, C – Print

Schiele, 2010

C – Print

17" x 13"

Cezanne, 2010, C – Print

Cezanne, 2010

C – Print

17" x 13"

Warhol, 2010, C – Print

Warhol, 2010

C – Print

17" x 13"

Mapplethorpe, 2010, C – Print

Mapplethorpe, 2010

C – Print

17" x 13"

Close,  2010, C – Print

Close,  2010

C – Print

17" x 13"

Miro,  2010, C – Print

Miro,  2010

C – Print

17" x 13"

Matisse,  2010, C – Print

Matisse,  2010

C – Print

55" x 40"