Artspace gallery will be participating at ART 14 LONDON from the 28th February to 2nd March, at the Olympia Grand, London, stand number D6.
We will be featuring the following artists -
HALIM AL KARIM
Halim Al Karim was born in 1963 in Nafjat, Iraq. He currently lives and works in Denver, USA and Dubai, UAE. In 2011 Halim was selected to represent Iraq in the Venice Biennale. His work has been widely exhibited at venues such as the Saatchi Gallery, London, UK, The ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art, Karlsruhe, DE, The Paul Klee Museum, Bern, Switzerland and The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, Colorado. Halim’s work is also part of numerous public collections, including the Saatchi Gallery, London, Victoria and Albert Museum, UK, The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, Texas, USA, The Royal Association of Fine Arts, Jordan, Arab Museum of Contemporary Art, Doha, Qatar and L’Institut du Monde Arabe (IMA), Paris, France, amongst others.
In his works the Iraqi artist copes with his formative experiences during the first Gulf War. Opposing Saddam’s regime he refused the military service and had to hide in the desert, living for almost 3 years in a hole. He only survived through the assistance of a Bedouin woman who took care of him and thaught him about gypsy customs and mysticism. The experience of violence, the loss of freedom as well as the mystical tradition of Sufism, which emphasizes the individual and pure relationship to God and consciousness, influenced his personal reflections.
Since 1985 Halim Al Karim has been developing the “Hidden” series, the concept which incorporates “al-batin”, according to the Islam one of the 99 names of Allah. Reciting the name “al-batin” is regarded to have the benefit of seeing “the truth in things”. Al Karim processed in his works the experience of hiding, withdrawing, the isolation and solitude, how memories finally become blurred and disappear and the extreme psychological stress. Therefore he titled them with “Seclusion”, “Lost Memory” or “Schizophrenia”. The media of photography is deliberately chosen due to its non-physical qualities: a medium, which quite literally creates an image of light, capturing the transient and interwoven nature of time and memory. Over many years he has been remained true to his formal concept by creating portraits of anonym as well as from famous personalities; some in extreme close-ups others in busts, but always with unsharped contours. Later on he used silk to outline the aspect of uncertainty, representing a transcendental portal to the subconscious and the artist’s insight that inner retreat is the only way to preserve humanity from brutal acts of violence.
Born in Iran, 1967, Samira Alikhanzadeh studied painting as an undergraduate at Azad University and then completed her Masters in Fine Art.
Her early work heavily featured windows, focusing on the effects of light movements in interior settings when filtered through glass. Not long ago, a serendipitous discovery of old family photographs led to a shift of focus and recent pieces primarily feature individuals - particularly women and children - as her main subject matter.
Alikhanzadeh’s images are printed digitally on wooden boards and subsequently painted over with acrylic. A key element of the current series is the omnipresence of mirror fragments. This medium playfully invites viewers to place themselves within the work and thus encourages them to ponder their own identity, existence, mortality and gender.
Katya Traboulsi is a Dubai based, contemporary Lebanese artist. Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions around the world. Katya’s art has found its way to several private collections in Canada, France, Switzerland, the United States, England, Dubai, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan and Lebanon. She has partnered with several organizations to raise funds and awareness for various charities and causes. Katya also regularly donates her pieces for special charitable proceedings as well. She also runs the “Katya Traboulsi Ateliers” in Dubai for emerging young and talented artists.In her work, Katya moves freely with her brush telling a new story with every stroke. She draws inspiration from the environment and the region she lives in. Katya de-dramatizes reality by using bold colors and figures between the real and the unreal.She refers to her expressionist paintings as her “mind releaser” as it serves as a sort of therapy to release the fears related to the people and circumstances of life around her.
In her latest compositions, the artist invents an imaginary anatomy from x-rayed or painted body-parts that function as fanciful skeletons to structure the works. We are introduced to the «magical» transparency of representation, but where the magic keeps returning us to the
impenetrable opacity of the real thing represented. This is a heart, these are lungs, these are breasts… the words, the images and the meanings insist on associating closely, but do not make the leap to simply showing us an organ « as is » without the layers of meanings we attach to it. Our sensory apprehension of the world is surreal (literally floating above the real) because our senses make the thing into an aesthetic object and so a symbol. The Vanity is a mirror to our shifting awareness of ourselves. By offering a multiple perceptions within each holograph, Katya Traboulsi offers the viewer elements and tools which enable him to reach a personal understanding. The viewer moves in front of the shifting work. His senses and mind in motion combine the fragments of inner and outer realities into an individually pertinent whole.
Zakaria Ramhani was born in Tangier in 1983. The son of a painter, he discovered very early the different painting techniques in his father’s studio. Deeply influenced by the way the religious conservatives criticized his father for making figurative art, Zakaria Ramhani chose to use and transform the Islamic tradition of calligraphy, whose abstract nature allowed artists to avoid violating the prohibition against figurative representation. Zakaria Ramhani got his diploma to become a fine art teacher in Tangier in 2003, and worked as a teacher, before giving up his work to devote himself entirely to his paintings.
Since 2007, he has been working on his project From Right to Left, in which he explores the relations between the art of portrait and the Arabic and Latin calligraphy. “I no longer painted pictures”, he said, “I wrote portraits”. Words and phrases of various size and colors are therefore superimposed and intertwined to create faces, bodies and figures. His large size portraits question the relationship between Identity and Otherness, Individuality, and deal with the role of the artist in the society.
Zakaria Ramhani’s works have been showed at the Word Into Art exhibition organized by the British Museum in London (2008), at Dak’art Biennale (Senegal, 2008), at the Cairo Biennale (2009), at the Intermoenia Extrart exhibition in Italy (2009), at the Barjeel Foundation (U.A.E, 2011). In 2012, his work was exhibited at the Barbican Gallery in London, and at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris. Some of his works have also been acquired by famous art collectors: the royal family of Morocco, Bank Al Maghrib’s museum, Jean-Paul Blachère’s foundation, Alain-Dominique Perrin. His paintings have been sold by fine arts auction houses, such as Christie’s Dubai or CMOOA Morocco. In 2010, he was listed by Artprice in the top ten artists aged under thirty who had achieved the highest auction results.
Lace, a feminine object and a production material, turns into sculptures under the hands of a male artist, Ozan Oganer, and creates a second dimension upon the surface of forms.
The works of Ozan Oganer have internalized the concept of ‘statue’ in its most classical meaning. Oganer is a great sculptor in many ways including his success in manual craft, his adherence to academic techniques, his meticulousness and his loyalty to anatomy. Technical faults do not exist in his statues or busts. What makes Ozan Oganer different is his choice of materials. His method of applying the lace creates a second dimension upon the surface of forms. This difference in details can clearly be seen as one comes into contact with his works. The statues of Oganer merge with the surrounding environment and the rhythm they capture along with light and colors; a sense of belonging and an existence within a different dimension. The transparent and camouflaging nature of lace takes on a whole new meaning as it meets light. Even though the works of the artist seem to “be able to exist on their own” to the casual observer, the thing that makes these transparent works of Oganer belong to the surroundings and that carries them to another extent is the light that illuminates them. The way light is used is capable of changing the way an artwork is perceived each time. This situation makes the works alive and strengthens motion. Oganer also colors the works that he has made by using lace…. Color entirely changes the way light is perceived. As the color choice of the artist gets darker, the inner world of the figure, (which can be observed from the holes in the lace) is made prominent whereas in lighter colors both the body and soul are illuminated to become much more transparent. The harmony or contrast between light and color appears as an element in Oganer’s works that underlines the concept of emptiness/fullness.
Ozan Oganer prefers to leave all of these circumstances to the observer’s perception… What’s important for him is how the observer is going to look at the “Transparent”: does it conceal, or does it reveal?…