Asaad Arabi Still Life to Abstraction
Asaad Arabi: Still Life to Abstraction
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Until the 30th of November, 2023, the ArtBooth gallery (Abu Dhabi) is hosting Still Life to Abstraction, a solo exhibition by renowned Syrian artist Asaad Arabi, one of the trailblazers of contemporary Arab painting. The show features his bold colourful paintings created from 2008 to 2023 and allows visitors to see how his visual language and art-making process have evolved.

Asaad Arabi, The Melody of Twilight, 2014. Acrylic on canvas. 115 x 195 cm

Arabi’s art pieces oscillate between representation and abstraction and sometimes bridge them together. Most of his creations reflect his deep connection with Damascus, where he was born and raised. Throughout his long artistic career, Arabi has reinvented his art style in an attempt to portray the rhythms, sensuality, and hidden narratives of a city, especially in Syria. Fascinated with cities and the spaces defining them, the artist explores the impact inhabitants have on the formation of culture in such settings.

Asaad Arabi, Abstraction Of An Old City, 2023. Acrylic on canvas. 88 x 116 cm, 3/4

Arabi’s art is inspired by his childhood memories of his hometown. However, another crucial source of his inspiration is music. According to the artist, there is an association between music and form. “When I listen to music, I can imagine certain forms taking shape, and when I look at the city, I can feel the musicality in it,” he said. At one point, Arabi began to examine the link between sound and sight through portraits of Umm Kulthum, a famous Egyptian singer. This series of paintings represented the delicate balance between voice and vision.

About the artist

Asaad Arabi (b.1941, Syria) is a celebrated artist, art theorist, and critic based in Damascus. He studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts (the University of Damascus) under the guidance of Guido La Regina, an Italian artist and leader of a new abstractionist school. In 1975, Arabi moved to Paris (France) and pursued his education at the Higher Institute of Fine Arts, from which he obtained a diploma in painting. The artist also has a PhD in Aesthetics from the Sorbonne University.

Asaad Arabi, El-Mihbaj, 2008. Acrylic on canvas. 150 x 150 cm, 4/4

Arabi’s artworks have been displayed in numerous solo and group exhibitions at different galleries including Galerie Roy Sfeir (Paris, France, 2019); Sircov Gallery (Brest, France, 2019); Ayyam Gallery (Beirut, 2017); Galerie Frederic Moisan (Paris, France, 2017); Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Connecticut, USA, 2017); and Ayyam Gallery DIFC (Dubai, 2015), to name a few. Arabi’s work is part of such public and private collections as Institut du Monde Arabe (Paris), the Barcelona Contemporary Museum of Art (Spain), the National Museum of Korea (Seoul); Los Angeles County Museum of Art (USA), and Barjeel Art Foundation (Sharjah).

To get more information about Still Life to Abstraction, please visit the ArtBooth gallery’s official website.

You might also be interested in attending Muheera & I by Abdulrahim Salim.