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Damon Kowarsky : “If you look at the city from here”

Twelve Gates Arts is delighted to present accomplished Australian artist Damon Kowarsky’s first US solo exhibition. The show brings together miniature paintings on vasli, etchings, and charcoal drawings. The works are based on Kowarsky’s travels to cities in America and the Indian sub-continent. Cities such as Jodhpur, Lahore, Chicago, New York, and Cairo are culturally and geographically distinct from each other yet Kowarsky’s drawings/renditions binds them together on a human level.

Sometimes the urban landscapes are superimposed by a solitary, pensive, and introspective figure. Even without a human figure the works have an undeniable human presence. The title of the exhibition comes from a poem by Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Coalescing the poetic renditions of Kowarsky’s cities with Faiz is an experimental curatorial decision aimed at highlighting the various parallelisms inherent in this exhibition.
Speaking of the conception of the images in his work and their execution, Kowarsky says: “The colours often come from the places I visit. One of the most characteristic things about the Mughal architecture of Pakistan and India is the use of red sandstone. It is as iconic as the bluestone of Melbourne or limestone of Sydney and contributes strongly to the sense of place both in the buildings and my prints.” [source:]
Damon Kowarsky studied printmaking at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne and Glasgow School of Art, and Advanced Figure Drawing with Godwin Bradbeer at RMIT University, Melbourne. In 2007 he taught drawing at Beaconhouse National University Lahore and studied miniature painting under Murad Mumtaz and Mahreen Zuberi. In 2010 he taught printmaking at Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture Karachi. Recipient of many international awards and residencies, Kowarsky recently undertook a residency in Cairo as part of his 2008 Toyota Community Spirit Artist Travel.