Rana Begum

No. 814


Coloured glass panels
205 x 200 x 200cm

Rana Begum’s practice hinges on three central ideas; colour, light and form. Whilst she wouldn’t describe herself as a conceptual artist, it is clear that the materiality and language of her work can be elegantly reduced to these three points of interest. However it is not these concepts in exclusivity that makes her work so captivating, it is in the act of seeing and experiencing that her works come to life.

Born in Bangladesh, Begum’s work is informed as much by her childhood growing up with the steady repetition and calm contemplation of the Koran as with the urban geometry and industrial materials of London. No. 814, presented originally at Frieze Sculpture in 2018, is an exemplar of howBegum’s practice embraces these juxtapositions, at once complex and simple.Made up of five coloured glass panels, the work absorbs and redirects sunlight to throw colourful patterns on the ground around it like a sun dial. As with Begum’s familiar ‘bar’ works which reflect and blend colours on to the wall behind the sculpture, where each glass panel crosses over, a new colour is combined creating a rainbow spectrum of clean shapes on the ground around it. Whilst her interest in US Minimalism, the work ofDonald Judd and Hélio Oiticica, is immediately evident in the form of the sculpture, it is this combined with the softer reflections and movement of light and colour which firmly positions Begum as a pioneer of her own visual language. Unlike the structures which confine the Minimalists to their genre, Begum is absorptive and hospitable to new stimuli, evident particularly in the works made during her residency at Tate St Ives which brought tactility and romanticism to her practice.