Latest Exhibition

Purpose of Light 

Dates: 25th April to 10th June 2022

Opening Reception: Thursday 5th May 2022 6-8 pm

Opening Hours: 11:00 – 16:00 Monday – Saturday. Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays. For an appointment outside opening hours please call or send us an email.


+44 (0)1962 877601

The Minster Gallery
3A Great Minster Street
Hampshire SO23 9HA
United Kingdom


The Minster Gallery is pleased to announce “Purpose of Light” a new Exhibition of works by Taha Afshar. This collection features oil paintings previously shown in 2019 at his solo exhibition in the 58th at the Venice Biennale.

His paintings seek to capture the delicate tension between the objective and the subjective, the particular and the universal, the momentary and the timeless. For Afshar, the process of painting seemingly operates as a form of meditation, where meaning is generated through the durational practice of working itself. Finished images thus reflect the thickness of human experience and sense perception, building layers of meaning into a single unique scene. Recent landscape paintings have drawn inspiration from Nordic landscapes, where he visits to paint. He makes reference to the acutely self-reflective nature of his work, citing a certain proximity to surrealist techniques of automatic writing. The oil paintings from this exhibition span a period of 4 years between 2015 and 2019. With the exception of one series of British seascapes from Hayling Island, in Hampshire, the most of the rest of the paintings are Swedish landscapes. All of the paintings were started en plein air, and some finalized in his Hampshire studio.

Taha Afshar is an internationally exhibited painter and sculptor born and practicing in Hampshire, England. Light, with both its physical and metaphysical properties, is often the subject matter of his work. Born in 1983, in Winchester, he studied Art and History of Art at Winchester College, graduating from University College London, and continuing to attain a PhD. Recent UK exhibitions have included shows at Cadogan Contemporary (2016) and the Jonathan Cooper Gallery (2016). In 2017, he exhibited at Asia House, London, supported by a panel from the British Museum and Courtauld Institute of Art. In 2018, he was shortlisted for the Sunny Art Prize and Royal Society of Marine Artists awards. 2018 saw his work exhibited in Italian, Russia and German institutions. He had his first solo exhibition at the Venice Biennale in 2019. His work can be found in many private and public art collections, such as the Hampshire County Council Contemporary Art Collection, Portsmouth Museum Art Collection, Winchester College, Monir Farmanfarmaian collection, Rose Issa collection, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Leonardo Di Caprio Foundation, Pickwell Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Taha Afshar. Purpose of Light. Minster Gallery – 2022 – Catalogue

Solo Exhibitions


Reflections on Birth, Bounty and Joy, Solo Exhibition, 58th Biennale di Venezia, inside of Official Pavilion at

Palazzo Zenobio, Venice, Italy.


Letting Light In, The Minster Gallery, Winchester. Hampshire Open Studios, Hampshire.


Letting Light In, Asia House, London.


Tuscan Landscapes, Angelus Gallery, Winchester.

Selected Group Exhibitions


St. Barbe Open Exhibition 2019, St. Barbe Museum, Lymington.

Malamegli Lab 11, Imagoars, Venice, Italy.

2018 Present, Perfect, Continuous, Zverev Contemporary Art Centre, Moscow, Russia.

We Contemporary Art Show, Museum of Jobs Fondation, Palermo, Italy.

Singularity of Peace, Group show, Uthink Creative, London.

Letting Light In, Solo Exhibition, Minster Gallery, September, Winchester.

Artsdepot, Group show, London.

Hampshire Open Studios, Hampshire.

Fascination of World Art and Colour, “Kulturbunker”, Cultural Center Cologne-Mülheim, Cologne (March),

Germany. Show will then go to Weißenthurm (April) and Kobern-Gondorf Town Halls (May), Germany.  

2017 Garden of Mystery: 700th Anniversary exhibition. Also with works from Monir Farmanfarmaian and Y.Z. Kami. In

collaboration with the Gagosian Gallery, The Third Line, and Rose Issa Projects. Asia House, November, London.

Letting Light In, Foyer at Asia House, May, London.

Vices and Virtues, Group Show, Notes Gallery, April, Southampton.

Solent Faces, Group Show, Solent Showcase Gallery, February, Southampton.

Swedish Landscapes, Group Show, Minster Gallery, September, Winchester.

2016 Spring Show, Group Show, Cadogan Contemporary, April, London.

New English Art Club, Annual Exhibition, Mall Galleries, June, London.

Green and Pleasant Land, Group Show, Jonathan Cooper Gallery, Park Walk, July, London.

Swedish Landscapes, Group Show, Minster Gallery, September, Winchester.

2002 Tuscan Landscapes, Angelus Gallery, July, Winchester.
2001 Autumn show, Bell Fine Arts, Winchester.
2000 Maltby Art Gallery, Winchester


Prizes and Awards

2018      Royal Society of Marine Artists, Shortlisted.

2018      Sunny Art Prize, Shortlisted

2018      Artsdepot, Shortlisted.

2018      Seascapes Art Exhibition, Special Merit Category.

2017      Nature Art Award, Special Recognition Artist, painting category.

2017      Palm Art Award, Nominee.

2017      National Open Arts, Shortlisted.

2017      Royal Society of Marine Artists, Shortlisted.

2017      Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Pre-selected.

2001      Awarded Drew Art Travel Scholarship, Winchester College.

2000     Winner of Maltby Young Artist prize.


London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), MSc. (2005-6), and PhD., 2008-2012.

University College, London (UCL), BSc., 2002 – 2005.

Winchester College, Art (A), History of Art (A), 1997- 2002.