Exhibitions


Ginane Makki Bacho: Exodus

 

EXODUS
GINANE MAKKI BACHO

30 October 2017 – 6 January 2018
Vernissage 30 October, 7:00 – 9:00pm 

 

Presenting Exodus, Meem Gallery’s first exhibition with Lebanese artist, Ginane Makki Bacho.

Drawing on some of the most notorious images and footage of the last few years, Exodus chronicles the emergence of the so-called Islamic State. Made up of nearly fifty sculptures, the majority of which were painstakingly forged from scrap metal collected in Bacho’s home town of Beirut, the roughly assembled structures take over the gallery space, transforming it into a sinister, sweeping tableau.

Bands of marauding, armed fighters hang out of the sides of tanks and cling onto overcrowded motorbikes, racing towards the viewer with barbaric intent. Pathetic prisoners in cages follow on, mounted onto the backs of trucks, a sickening parade designed to inflict maximal terror. The gruesome conclusion comes in the form of rows of kneeling victims dressed in familiar orange jumpsuits, flanked by their faceless executioners, knives to necks, posing for their macabre yet sophisticated publicity materials soon to be broadcast around the world. This intimidating spectacle gives way to a flotilla of densely packed small boats. These more refined works, cast in bronze, evoke increasingly familiar scenes from the media, an exodus resulting in a refugee crisis which has already begun to destabilize large parts of the world.

As the influence of IS within Syria and Iraq begins to subside, Exodus leaves us with many unanswered questions. Aside from its widely used definition: Exodus [a going out; a departure or emigration, usually a large number of people], the term also refers to the final scene of a play in Ancient Greek theatre. Is this indeed the final scene of this brutal play?

Working in multiple media, Ginane Makki Bacho is best known for her painting, printmaking and sculpture. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Beirut University College in 1982, shortly before being displaced by the civil war. Moving to America in 1984, she went onto receive a Master’s of Fine Arts in Printmaking and Painting from the prestigious Pratt Institute, New York in 1987.

Bacho’s work is held in several public and private collections including the Hariri Foundation, Washington DC; the Dalloul Collection, Beirut; the KA Collection, Beirut; the Museum of Digne les Bains, Cabo Frio Museum, Rio de Janeiro; the Arab League, Washington DC and Biblioteca Alexandrina, Alexandria.

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Arab Print: Volume III

 

ARAB PRINT VOLUME III 

4 July - 20 September 2017

Following on from last year’s Arab Print Vol. II exhibition, Meem Gallery presents works by Assadour, Munira al Kazi, Ahmed Morsi, Ibrahim Salahi Hashem Samarchi and the late Ismail Fattah in Arab Print Vol. III.

The works in this exhibition exemplify the rich variety and versatility of printmaking in the Arab world. From Assadour’s labyrinthine silkscreen prints and etchings that manifest the artist’s fascination (and frustration) with the human condition to Salahi’s linear digital print and Kazi’s abstract hand coloured etchings,the aim is to further the understanding of an important but often neglected art form in the region.

 

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Sepehri

 

SEPEHRI

9 March - 22 May 2017

Meem Gallery presents a rare group of works by Sohrab Sepehri from the early 1960s. One of Iran’s foremost Modernist painters and poets, Sepehri’s work is best known for its natural subject matter and muted palette. In contrast, this collection of paintings and gouache of paper works demonstrate the artist’s often overlooked versatility of form and mastery of colour. 

Executed soon after completing extensive travels in Europe, Africa and Asia, the works reflect Sepehri’s exposure to the wider world, most notably drawing on his experiences of working as a print-making apprentice in Tokyo. The artist’s fascination with Japanese culture and philosophy are particularly evident, with elements reminiscent of Zen art and poetry, and its acutely paired down simplicity of form, present throughout.

Contrasting fields of colour overlap against defined backgrounds forming Sepehri’s sophisticated compositions, giving the sense of an unknown quantity of space reaching beyond the limitations of the margins. Bold, confident brush strokes permeate the work with powerful expressiveness, lending movement and depth, and drawing the audience in.

A member of the renowned Saqqakhaneh school, Sohrab Sepehri established his reputation during the 1968 group exhibition at the Pahlavi University. Often referred to as the father of Modern art in Iran, his deeply humanistic nature imbued his artistic practice with a spiritual density which went far beyond the technical aspects of his work. 

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Kamal Boullata: Addolcendo

 

KAMAL BOULLATA
ADDOLCENDO
16 January - 20 February 2017

Vernissage: 16 January 2017, 7:00 - 9:00pm

 

Meem Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of the Berlin-based Palestinian artist Kamal Boullata. Opening on January 16th 2017, this is the second solo exhibition hosted by Meem Gallery. It shows recent watercolour paintings in contrast to two series of silkscreen prints from the artist’s earlier oeuvre.  
 
Titled Addolcendo, the exhibition takes its name from the title of the main body of work to be displayed. The Addolcendo series comprises of a group of intimate works on paper, which are created by employing the pochoir technique, as a method for painting instead of printmaking, as it was originally used in the early 20th Century in Paris. The result of this technique, combined with Boullata’s ubiquitous style, is seemingly three-dimensional works that force the viewer to slow down, to study, to soften. The vivid use of colour draws the viewer’s eyes across the composition, stopping abruptly and starting again as colour fields develop, and then break. As Dorothea Schoene notes in her essay, On The poetics of Composition: Kamal Boullata’s Addolcendo Series (Page 25, Addolcendo exhibition catalogue, Meem Editions 2017), “the choice of the pochoir technique creates the illusion of a folded and unfolded paper”.  
 
The Addolcendo series creates a sense of duality in its viewing. The contrast of these works is mirrored in the manner that the work is at once both playful and measured, both spontaneous and organized. The sharp, angular lines of the works and the preoccupation with the square bring to mind earlier works by Boullata; such as the Bilqis series and earlier experimentations on canvas, such as Ishraq I, 2001 and And Yet it Moves, 1999. Reminiscent yes, but in the fabric of the work there is a divergence as the medium becomes fragile once again, the choice of watercolour on paper, instead of stronger, sturdier canvas. The lightness of the watercolour and gouache itself, combined now with textured crayon instead of thicker, layered acrylic.

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