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United Kingdom/Pakistan 1973

From the receding interior spaces of the boudoir, shrine or sitting room in Uzma Sultan’s earlier paintings, the flattened and patterned surface has come surging forward in her recent works, painted both in Karachi and as part of a residency at Glogauair in Berlin. Including stacks of Tibet powder and cooking oil tins, a crowd of painted vehicles, and a multiplied bed of charpoys viewed from an impossibly high angle, these paintings are rendered with Sultan’s characteristically crooked figuration. In the last case, Sultan appropriates the stacked perspective of the early miniature tradition, flattening and tipping the horizontal plane upwards and towards us.
Alternately exaggerating and muting particular colours, the patterned surfaces that Sultan’s paintings represent are vibrant, and yet also rather barren. Most particularly, these paintings reflect the joy of the mark, of pushing colours against each other like unhappy lovers. They reflect the dance of paint on matter, in this case on impervious surfaces such as aluminum, vinyl or perspex.
These works flirt with ugliness, with the shaky gesture of the brushstroke, and with the imprecision of an unplanned composition. They demonstrate that painting, in the end, is not only about painting pictures, but about making paintings. About the painful pleasure of paint, colour, surface and form.

Gemma Sharpe

Uzma Sultan at
OPEN STUDIOS September 2016
Uzma Sultan // Showcase Project
OPEN STUDIOS December 2014
Bonbons // Showcase Project
OPEN STUDIOS September 2014

More at

Uzma Sultan: Fishmarket


Uzma Sultan: Dickmann"s chocolate

Dickmann's chocolate

Uzma Sultan: Ballon Man

Ballon Man

Uzma Sultan: Freedom


Uzma Sultan: Pakola


Uzma Sultan: Blue Sandals

Blue Sandals



97-99 The Slade School of Fine Art,MFA (Painting) University College London. 94-97 Wimbledon School of Art,BA(Hons) Fine Arteab
93-94 Chelsea College of Art & Design,Foundation


1996 The Cut Gallery, Waterloo, London
1997 ‘Show’ Woburn Square First Year Postgraduate Slade School of Fine Art
1998 J.Walter Thomson,Berkeley Square, London
1999 MFA Degree Show, Woburn Square, London
2000 Rohtas Gallery, Islamabad, Pakistan
2001 Gallerie Sadequein, Karachi, Pakistan
2003 ‘Don’t start from the good old things but the bad new ones’ Whitechapel Project Space, E1
2003 Deptford X Festival, Resolution Way, SE8
2003 ‘Reduced’, Small works by 100 Artists, Century Gallery, E2
2004 The Discerning Eye, The Mall Galleries, The Mall, SW1
2005 Mostyn Open, Oriel Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno, LL30
2005 RBSA Prize Exhibition, RBSA Gallery, Birmingham, B3
2006 The Inspied Art Fair, Christ Church, Commercial St., E1
2006 Lynn Painter- Stainers Prize, Painter’s Hall, 9 Trinity Lane, EC4V
2007 Art Auction for torture victims, The Building Centre, Store St, WC1
2007 Arts Unwrapped, Cremer St, E2
2008 Krystal Clear, Josetti Hofe, 22-24 Rungestrabe, 1079, Berlin
2010 Hackney Arts Festival, Hackney Downs, London E8
2011 ‘Mein’, Koel Gallery, Karachi
2012 Faiz art prize Exhibition, Karachi
2012 Unhinged Arts Festival, The Electric, Brixton, London
2013 ‘Coligere’ Takt AIR Group Show,Weserstrasse 11, Berlin 10247 2014 Liverpool Independents Biennial, UK
2015 2 Person show with Qadir Jhatial, Koel Gallery, Karachi
2015 ‘Birwa’, Sadequein Gallery, Frere Hall, Karachi


2012 Mishmash,Rohtas 2,Model Town,Lahore 2011 ‘Life’ Room,Koel Gallery,Karachi
2001 Gallerie Sadequein, Karachi
2000 Rohtas Gallery, Islamaba


Work bought by Gissings, London

Awards and Residencies

1999 Mary Richsgitz Prize, Slade School of Fine Art 2000 ACAVA First Base Studio Award
2003 Nominated for artist Jerwood Platform 2006 Fine Art Prize, Inspired Art Fair
2006 Shortlisted for John Moores Painting Prize
2013 Takt A.I.R, Weserstrasse 11-17, Berlin 10247
2014 GlogauAIR Berlin, Glogauerstrasse 16, Berlin 10999

Relevant work Experience

1999 Visiting Lecturer One to one hour tutorial The Slade School Undergraduate 2003-4 Teaching Assistant The Slade School, Woburn Square