Working across painting, installation and site-specific drawing, Raafat Ishak’s practice is informed by architecture and his Arabic cultural heritage. Using a formal but understated graphic language, where distinctive lines enclose curved, square or rectangular shapes that have been slowly built up in pastel shades on un-primed canvas or MDF. Ishak seamlessly mixes the personal with the political in a way that highlights the circularity and interdependency of these relationships. Underscored by a utopian, romantic tendency, his work is subtle, contemplative and alive to the nuances of cross-cultural dialogue and transit.
Select solo exhibitions:Chicken River,Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, 2018;Withdrawal Courtesies,Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2018;1977,Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2017;Apnea, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2015;Nomination for the presidency of the new Egypt, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2012;Proposition for a banner march and a black cube hot air balloon, with Tom Nicholson, Shepparton Art Museum, Shepparton, 2012;Art Dubai, with Sutton Gallery, United Arab Emirates, 2011;Raafat Ishak: Work in Progress, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne, 2010.
Select group exhibitions:Overdrawn,Nanyang Academy of Arts, Singapore, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Melbourne, 2018;Monochrome, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Melbourne, 2018;Call of the Avant-Garde: Constructivism and Australian Art,Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 2017;Borders Barriers Walls,MUMA, Melbourne, 2016;Painting, More Painting,ACCA, Melbourne, 2016;Home Ground,Agha Khan Museum, Toronto, 2015;Terms & Conditions, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore, 2013;Shifting Geometries, Embassy of Australia, Washington DC, 2012 (1).