Exhibitions


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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