Navine G. Khan-Dossos’s painting practice is based on a rigorous training in Islamic art and History of Art. But instead of following the expected religious, cultural or academic frameworks of these modes, she has asked more of her work. She is constantly dealing with the complexities of Orientalism and Other, in both historical and contemporary contexts.
She has developed a form of geometric abstraction that merges the traditional aniconism of Islamic art with the algorithmic nature of the interconnected world we live in. It is not abstract in the sense we understand from the western history of this development in art, but something essentially informational. The subject of her work is often the conflicted and complex relationship of Islam to the West, which is an inescapable and vital subject to be dealing with today.
Khan-Dossos believes that the way to ask questions about this subject is not to rely on and reproduce the figurative language of online media outlets, videos, and low-res stills which shape our imagined versions of reality, but to invest in finding a new language that reflects the patterns and connections that underpin these images and generate them in the digital world.
The current works are made using a purposefully ‘analogue’ methodology; painted on panels of wood or directly onto walls. They are made with egg tempera and gouache. These elements are chosen specifically to circumnavigate oil paint and its history altogether. The desire for permanence is also there in the medium; to make work that may last, in a physical sense, well into the future.
Khan-Dossos studied History of Art at Cambridge University, Arabic at Kuwait University, Islamic Art at the Prince’s School of Traditional Art, and completed her MA in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art & Design. She was a participant at the Van Eyck Academie in Maastricht, and has taken part in residencies with the A.M. Qattan Foundation, Leighton House Museum, and the Delfina Foundation.