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Uman: Darling sweetie, sweetie darling

Uman’s first exhibition with Hauser & Wirth will take place in London, in equal partnership with Nicola Vassell Gallery, NY. Uman’s ebullient visual vocabulary reflects her expansive cross-cultural experiences. An intuitive artist and voracious autodidact, Uman draws upon her memories of her East African childhood, rigorous education in traditional Arabic calligraphy, deep engagement with dreams and fascination with kaleidoscopic colour and design. With nods to self-portraiture and fictional topographies, Uman’s paintings fluidly navigate in-between realms to explore both the physical and spiritual, intertwining abstraction, figuration, meditative patterning and a reverence for the natural world. This exhibition will display a selection of large-scale paintings with lavishly detailed and opulently coloured worlds, replete with gesture, geometry and evocations of the sublime, hovering between abstraction and figuration.

The element of self-portraiture permeates Uman’s practice. This kind of autobiographical transfiguration is seen in the new work ‘Untitled’ (2023), an expressive painting depicting an abstracted figure with its mouth open surrounded by flowing trails of geometric patterning. Other more abstract paintings on display are still biographical, as Uman describes ‘the paintings are an extension of who I am’; they are not planned or premeditated but born from dreams, intuition and rigorous discipline. This exhibition can be understood as a collective portrait of the artist herself, at this moment in time.

Hauser & Wirth London, until 30th March ‘24. Free entry.

Image: Uman, Samaki in the ocean 2023 

© Uman Courtesy the artist, Hauser & Wirth and Nicola Vassell Gallery

Photo: Sarah Muehlbauer



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