13 October 2011 - 12 November 2011

Raafat Ishak, Congratulatory Notes on Ubiquity and Debacle


Raafat Ishak's paintings of intricate, interlocking compositions, push and pull notions of nationhood, home and cultural identity. Since the late 1980's Ishak has built a solid reputation for his creation of meticulous paintings, sculptural works and large scale installations. His personal symbolism, which draws upon an extensive archive of imagery, is masterfully layered into his complex paintings, presenting intriguing, elusive works.

Congratulatory Notes on Ubiquity and Debacle is a collection of nine oil paintings on canvas that are positioned precariously between a rigorous speculation on abstraction as driven by cubist investigations into image making, and ornamentation. Set against a number of architectural motifs, including an abandoned coal mine, a staircase and a Ferris wheel, the Notes are predominantly derived from paintings and drawings of Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase and pictorial representations and instructions of organic fruit, vegetable and flower growing in Victoria.

Ishak's Notes foil and contrast his long standing involvement with artists run initiatives, collaborations and site specific projects. The incorporation of local plants and foliage marks the contentious territory of community and cooperation. These bouquets of vivid colour appear unexpectedly amongst the sharp crevices and corners of a rigid system of architectural logic.

Artist's profile

View artist profile: Raafat Ishak



ISHAK_Australian Art Collector_Oct 2011

Artwork from exhibition by Raafat Ishak,


Oil on cotton duck