chicago

Muneer Bahauddeen

Isobel Neal Gallery

The sculpture of Muneer Bahauddeen is so palpably an art of accretion that its initial impact is one of surfeit; it seems to overwhelm by an outpouring of possibilities. Each of Bahauddeen’s sculptures is composed of a riotous blend of elements that never quite congeal. Bits of string, beads, small bottles, shards of metal, coins, shot glasses, feathers, postage stamps, pieces of cloth, and more are placed on and about a central figure and its ceramic or wood base. The figural assemblages that emerge reflect Bahauddeen’s deep interest in African art and culture. The plethora of stuff strewn at the base of the figure recalls votive articles surrounding the altar of some arcane shrine; in fact the pieces mirror those African sculptures that display a willful proliferation of elements, resulting in ceremonial objects that demonstrate no distinction between their decorative and symbolic

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