Rana Begum

Rana Begum: Space Light Colour

Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts 12 May 2017 – 1 October 2017

The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, continues its 2017 exhibition programme with a solo exhibition of works by Rana Begum. Opening on Friday 12 May Rana Begum: Space Light Colour will be the first museum exhibition of works from one of the most exciting young artists working today.

Rana has already completed a number of remarkable public commissions including at King’s Cross Cubitt Square in 2016. She is also the recipient of the prestigious 2017 Abraaj Group Art Prize with her commission unveiled at Art Dubai on 14 March.

Rana Begum’s working practice has a transformative quality that engages with space, light and form, blurring the boundaries between sculpture, painting and architecture. Her work has a great affinity to the built environment and uses repetitive geometric patterns found within Islamic art and urban architecture. She imposes order and structure through the use of prefabricated components, but transformed by the application of colour. The array of sensations –be it intentional or unexpected– evoked by these chromatic choices can change dramatically as the viewer moves through the space.

Rana Begum’s practice has a strong connection with the Sainsbury Centre, which holds an important collection of Abstract and Constructivist Art. Drawing on her interest in contemporary architecture, this exhibition allows the artist to engage with and respond to the iconic Norman Foster building, providing an exciting context for the work to engage with light, space and environment.

The exhibition contains several sculptures, paintings, and models alongside new works currently in production. A highlight will be the immersive and transformative sculptural

environment created by No.670 Mesh Installation. Free-standing coloured aluminium bars and wall-mounted aluminium bars such as No. 529 –created for her solo show at Galeri Mana, Istanbul and making its first appearance in the UK – are not to be missed. These are complemented by relief ‘fold’ works, with their complex geometries, stealth-like form and shimmering palettes. A range of models that Begum has produced for public commissions will also be on display, providing a remarkable insight into how her practice engages with ideas concerning community and place.

In order to provide a historical context for the exhibition, the Centre is currently displaying a selection of works from its collection of Abstract and Constructivist Art. The display includes pieces by Mary Martin, Lygia Clark, Tess Jaray, Jesus Raphael Soto and Max Bill.

This exhibition is in association with the Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2017.

Rana Begum: Space Light Colour

12 May 2017 – 1 October 2017

£7/£6 concessions/Free for Sainsbury Centre Members


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Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ www.scva.ac.uk, 01603 593199, [email protected]


Rana Begum

Rana Begum Biography

Rana Begum (b.1977) lives and works in London but is already beginning to establish an International reputation. She studied at Chelsea College of Art and Design (BA Painting 1996-1999) and the Slade School of Fine Art in London (MA Painting 2000-2002).

Recent exhibitions include ‘Rana Begum: The Space Between’, Parasol Unit, London, UK (2016); ‘Towards an Infinite Geometry’, Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai, India (2015); ‘Future Light, Vienna Biennale 2015: Ideas for Change’, MAK Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria (2015); ‘Linear Abstraction’, Gutstein Gallery, SCAD, Savannah, USA (2015); ‘Dhaka Art Summit’, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2014); ‘No.10’, The Third Line, Dubai, UAE (2013).


Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

The Sainsbury Centre was established when Sir Robert and Lady Lisa Sainsbury generously gave their art collection to the University of East Anglia in 1973. The building was designed by Norman Foster and opened in 1978.

For over 40 years, Robert and Lisa Sainsbury collected works of art which ranged across time and place. They sought work both from major European artists, as well as art and antiquities from different periods and cultures around the world. The Sainsbury’s were equally radical in commissioning the young Norman Foster in 1974 as architect for the new building to house their works. Sir Robert saw Foster’s innovative building as the great jewel of the Sainsbury Collection.

The Sainsbury Centre is one of the most prominent university art galleries in Britain, and a major national centre for the study and presentation of art. As well as housing the Sainsbury’s art collection, one of the few intact modernist collections of the twentieth century with many seminal works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Edgar Degas, Francis Bacon, Jacob Epstein, Henry Moore, Alberto Giacometti, and Amedeo Modigliani, it also displays the Anderson Collection of Art Nouveau and the University’s Abstract and Constructivist Collection.

Alongside these permanent collections, it hosts a range of temporary exhibitions in the new galleries, which provide the largest climate-controlled exhibition space in Eastern England.

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