Max Wigram Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of The Golden Age, an exhibition of new paintings by Mustafa Hulusi.
Hulusi here presents a darker, more somber version of his signature diptychs, which bring together largescale, hyperreal paintings of poppies and tulips and optical abstraction. Painted with controlled gestures and refined technique, the diptychs take as inspiration Ashik Kerib (1988), the masterpiece by Armenian filmmaker Sergei Parajanov. Displayed against coloured walls, the suite of paintings induces a sense of another age, inviting the viewer to pause and contemplate a displaced time.
In Golden Age, the artist develops his inquiry into images of symbolic power and historical memory, with particular reference to his country of origin, the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The tulip offers symbols for the earthly, mortal and figurative. Tulipa Cypria is an endemic tulip found in remote and unpopulated areas of Cyprus. Due to human activity, the flower is now an endangered species. Within the island’s everyday language, the flower is called Cyprus Black Tulip; shortly before it perishes, its petals turn a very dark, almost black tone. This morbid yet mesmerising appearance consistently arrests the human gaze.