Dr Mr Abdullah Khan
LE STUDIUM Visiting Artist
In residence at
Extreme Conditions and Materials: High Temperature and Irradiation (CEMHTI) / CNRS - FR
Dr Lavinia Balan
Art & Science: A synthesis
After first drawn to painting after being inspired by Cubism’s proposal of perceiving the physical, Abdullah Khan creates paintings that play on human vision and perception. His practice focuses keenly on the intersection of abstraction and representation, subconscious and conscious, art and technology. Trained as a mechanical engineer, his research into materials sciences and industrial design lead eventually to art as a profession and vocation.
Any number of subjects from his arcane interests as well as his own contemplations of changing self and observations of the current zeitgeist inspire his work. His style is informed by technological precision and analog draughtsman-ship with visible readings from cubism, minimalism, the colour theorists, the abstract expressionists, although the diversity of subject matter defy any single classification.
In his research on materials for creative works and in search for greater reflectivity, lead to the research of Lavinia Balan, whose excellent work at the CEHMTI, CNRS, France seemed to perfectly summarise his particular problem and provide the perfectly elegant solution: a silver deposition process of a photosensitive polymer matrix using UV light, a novel innovative technique of silvering glass and many other relevant materials such as canvas and textile whilst retaining high reflectance and flexibility with the medium. This process offers not only a completely environmentally safe process, but also a host of other benefits specific to the creation of artworks such as room temperature application, self healing properties, a quick drying time, ability to use with layers to protect from oxidation, as well as scope for a wide range of reflectance by varying the duration, intensity and focus pattern of UV light as well by varying the concentration of metal precursor in the photosensitive solution. This has allowed silvering to be performed by hand in partial deposition, and in multiple layers of varying reflectance, allowing controlled transparency and reflectivity.
At CEMHTI, Abdullah Khan is working in collaboration with Lavinia Balan to realise artworks based on her work on metallic nano-particles, specifically silver. The usage of Lavinia Balan's process in Abdullah's work is a key bridge between the cutting edge of material sciences with new artistic forms inspired by the aesthetics of the sciences themselves, which could then inspire new ways to visualise or explore new avenues in scientific thought. The works will be investigating the relationship of science and art, and how their nebulous nature being vastly different, have certain commonalities, one could say complementary, each providing what the other lacks.
« Paintings allow the mind to relax and wander, to let go of the mundane and focus on the things that really matter. »
Abdullah Khan is an exciting artist whose work has been exhibited in India. First drawn to painting after being inspired by Cubism's proposal of perceiving the physical, he creates striking pieces that play on movement and memory, in order to represent reality closer to how we perceive it.