Curator Paula Marschalek

AKLIMA IQBAL. Questioning and Searching the Surreal

The artist Aklima Iqbal, originally from Bangladesh, takes up contrasts in her artistic work and tells imaginative, surreal, even absurd stories in her large-scale, colorful paintings as well as in her small-scale drawings, which provoke reflection on a deeper level. Her artistic process starts with mind mapping, writing down what comes to her mind and approaching certain topics is the starting point. For this reason, poetry exists to almost every artistic work.

Inspired by the cycle of life, Iqbal deals with themes such as human existence, social structures or inequalities, interpersonal communication, as well as spirituality. The artistic contemplation takes place partly on an abstract level, partly one discovers figurative elements in the paintings. The connection between abstraction and figuration is important for the artist to represent real and surreal as well as inner and outer experiences of human existence. The play with humor, color and form makes the viewer aware of an absurd reality and invites them to adopt other perspectives, to empathize with new environments and to find a place of longing to escape from everyday life and daily stress.

Through her narratives and pictorial contexts, questioning and searching for the surreal plays just as important a role as building, deconstructing and reconstructing the same. A great curiosity and a penchant for surprise translate her artistic thinking into exciting formations marked by clarity as well as imagination.

Art Historian & Cultural Manager Paula Marschalek about Aklima Iqbal’s artistic work

Curator Anica Marković

Aklima Iqbal’s drawings are subjective: they seem like their own diary notes. She finds escape from external and fleeting sensations in imaginative, playful and colorful shapes dominated by blue, purple and red. Aklima Iqbal is used by writing and mapping lived and experienced stories. Therefore, the process of creation of each of hers of an artistic work begins with a note, which functions as a template for what follows.

By transforming and deconstructing her experiences, she builds abstract ones with a line forms and absurd phenomena. Aklima simplifies its abstract formations to and measures to leave blanks and gaps on the paper. It offers space for vague, unthought and unexperienced. In the sea of  abstract forms, there are glimpses figurative representations. With a line that is unpredictable, She manages to invent and think yourself and the world around you. Work – Blue is neither yours nor mine contains over a hundred drawings smaller formats that appear to the observer to be perfectly integrated and unique whole, as a process in which one solved problem immediately enters into the next – from one (un)told story to another. Memories are a tricky category, that’s why the artist memorizes them, while on the other hand, as if by the very act of recording she wants to overcome them.

Art Historian & Curator Anica Marković about Aklima Iqbal’s artistic work