Raafat Ishak

Working across painting, installation and site-specific drawing, Raafat Ishak’s practice is informed by architecture and his Arabic cultural heritage. Within Ishak’s formal but understated graphic language, distinctive lines enclose curved, square or rectangular shapes that have been slowly built up in pastel shades on un-primed canvas or MDF. Ishak seamlessly mixes the personal with the political in a way that highlights the circularity and interdependency of these relationships. Underscored by a utopian, romantic tendency, his work is subtle, contemplative and alive to the nuances of cross-cultural dialogue and transit.

Select solo exhibitions: Eye Looking at Large Glass Broken, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 2023; Eye Looking at Large Glass Broken Two, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2021; Chicken River, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, 2018; Withdrawal Courtesies, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2018; 1977, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2017; Apnea, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2015; Nomination for the presidency of the new Egypt, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2012; Proposition for a banner march and a black cube hot air balloon, with Tom Nicholson, Shepparton Art Museum, Shepparton, 2012; Art Dubai, with Sutton Gallery, United Arab Emirates, 2011; Raafat Ishak: Work in Progress, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne, 2010.

Select group exhibitions: Splitting Hairs, Green Floor Gallery, Melbourne, 2024; It’s not you, it’s me, Fiona and Sydney Myer Gallery, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, 2023; The Night of Counting the Tears, The Islamic Museum of Australia, Canberra, 2023; XXX Celebrating 30 Years of Sutton Gallery, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2020; Surreal Landscapes, Mornington Peninsular Art Gallery, Mornington 2021; Overdrawn, Nanyang Academy of Arts, Singapore, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Melbourne, 2018; Monochrome, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Melbourne, 2018; Call of the Avant-Garde: Constructivism and Australian Art, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 2017; Borders Barriers Walls, MUMA, Melbourne, 2016; Painting, More Painting, ACCA, Melbourne, 2016; Home Ground, Agha Khan Museum, Toronto, 2015; Terms & Conditions, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore, 2013; Shifting Geometries, Embassy of Australia, Washington DC, 2012.

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