Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World review – an art miracle
British Museum, London
Two new rooms at the museum present an alternative history of the world, beginning with works with a geometric sophistication and abstract calm that western art could not achieve for another 10 centuries
The best way to get to the British Museum’s new gallery of Islamic art is via the Sutton Hoo gallery. That way, you first take a trip through Anglo-Saxon England, past Celtic gold, Viking jewels and treasures from the burial of a seventh-century king. These artefacts, lurking in shadow, all date from a time that is often called the Dark Ages. Then you step out of that gallery and into a world of light.
Streaming in through patterned screens and coloured glass, the light spills over lustreware, the glazed ceramics invented by medieval Islam that have an iridescent quality. Such luminous clarity seems to shine right through Islamic art: what you see here resembles the Enlightenment in 18th-century Europe – an age of reason that, in this case, started in the eighth century.Continue reading...
Published on 16 Oct 2018 at 01:07PM