Jamali, the mononym for Aqdas Hussain Khan, is a contemporary avant-garde artist based in New York. Known for his figurative paintings of women, he juxtaposes his Pakistani background with Expressionism and Cubism painting techniques. His artworks focus on storytelling, history, and emotions while combining opposites such as tradition and modernity.
Jamali was born in Pakistan in 1947. In the 1960s, after the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Jamali pilgrimaged to the mountain Tirich Mir. Afterward, he traveled throughout Europe in search of a home for his unique approach to art. While in Paris, he met American students studying abroad and decided to apply to the Fine Art program of the University of Central Florida. By 1970, he moved to the United States, where he has based his art ever since.
Often regarded as the founder of Mystical Expressionism, a term used by art critic and historian Donald Kuspit to describe his practice, Jamali incorporates sensuality and dreamlike undertones into his paintings. Additionally, he embraces Eastern spiritual traditions and their religious imagery and symbols. More specifically, he embodies his spirituality as a Sufi Muslim in his work.
He embodies the ancient Sufi tradition of dancing to induce a trance-like state while he paints and dances on his canvases. His highly involved kinetic process results in a highly texturized and intricate surface on the canvas. The gestural technique is reminiscent of Jackson Pollock and the New York School. His characteristic style consists of unique and organic paintings. Furthermore, his experimental techniques use cork, egg tempera, and even bronze.
His artworks have been exhibited in solo shows nationally and internationally. His paintings are in private and public collections such as Bank of America, Warner Media, and First Union Bank Headquarters. Additionally, he owns and operates various contemporary art galleries Jamali Fine Art in Florida and The Jamali Gallery in New York City, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami.
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