Anwar Jalal Shemza, Love Letter 2, 1969, oil on canvas, 36 1/2 × 36 3/4".

Anwar Jalal Shemza

Tate Britain

Anwar Jalal Shemza, Love Letter 2, 1969, oil on canvas, 36 1/2 × 36 3/4".

As readers of The Arabian Nights know, carpets can transport us to lands far, far away. Anwar Jalal Shemza’s minute Magic Carpet, 1984, is no exception. Here, a piece of cloth with frayed edges is hand-dyed red, blue, and saffron. A painted geometric shape appears to hover at the center of the fabric. Is this tricolored textile about to fly?

Shemza’s painting is part of a small solo presentation, curated by Leyla Fakhr and Carmen Juliá, dedicated to work the Pakistani artist made in Britain. Encompassing paintings, pyrography on wood, ceramics, and archival material, the display includes pieces from as early as 1959—when Shemza was a student at London’s Slade School of Fine Art—along with those he made after moving in 1962 to Stafford, UK, where he lived until his death in 1985. Evidence of Shemza’s involvement in London’s art world occupies the central portion of the

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