Lasting Impressions Samia Halaby
Lasting Impressions: Samia Halaby
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Sharjah Art Museum (SAM) invites everyone to attend Lasting Impressions: Samia Halaby, an exhibition dedicated to this internationally celebrated Palestinian artist. The show is curated by Inass Yassin and will be open to the public until the 7th of January, 2024.

Samia Halaby is among the trailblazing abstract artists in the Arab world and beyond. The exhibition features more than 180 of her art pieces: paintings, digital works, and documentary drawings. It takes visitors on a journey through 60 years of her work and gives them insight and details of each period and style.

Samia Halaby, Variable Motion, 1993. Oil on canvas. 36 x 46 in | 91.5 x 117 cm

In her practice, Halaby uses the elements found in reality and their interaction with vision, perception, and illusion creating depth and movement in flat spaces. She takes the inherent visual experience within us (what the viewer and she “already know”) and presents it in an abstract visual form. So she hopes that the spectators will recognise their intuitions and experiences in her works.

Launched in 2010, the Lasting Impressions series is held at the SAM every year. It focuses on prolific Arab artists who had a profound influence on the development of modern Arab art. The series has already paid tribute to the works of such artists as Najat Mekky, Noor Ali Rashid, and Thuraya Al Baqsami, to name a few.

Samia Halaby, Mountains of Palestine, 2000. Acrylic on polyester. 72 x 172 in | 183 x 437 cm

About the artist

Samia Halaby (b. 1936, Jerusalem, Palestine) is an artist, writer, educator, activist, and scholar who lives in New York (USA). In 1959, she received her BS in Design from the University of Cincinnati (Ohio, USA). In 1960, she graduated from Michigan State University (USA) with an MA in Painting. She also obtained an MFA in Painting from Indiana University (USA) in 1963. From 1971 until 1982, Halaby taught at the Yale School of Art. It made her the first full-time female associate professor in the department’s history.

Samia Halaby, Mondrian Boogie Woogie, 2016. Acrylic on jute canvas.
74 4/5 × 105 1/10 in | 190 × 267 cm

To create her multicoloured geometric compositions, Halaby draws inspiration from many sources. These are early Islamic architecture, European avant-garde movements including Soviet Constructivism, and nature, particularly the native trees of her homeland. Palestine as subject matter also enters the artist’s paintings as titles referring to her favourite places back home. Apart from abstract works, Halaby also produces figurative, politically oriented art pieces. She has designed a lot of political posters and banners for different anti-war causes.

Samia Halaby, City Rain, 2015. Acrylic on linen canvas. 38 1/5 × 38 1/5 in | 97 × 97 cm

The artist has showcased her works in numerous solo and group exhibitions, for example, Simple Complexity (Art Dubai, Dubai, UAE, 2019); Opacity and Transparency (Ayyam Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon, 2018); Paintings from the Sixties and Seventies (Ayyam Gallery, London, UK, 2015); Contemporary Arabia (Ayyam Gallery, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 2014); Selections from the Samawi Collection (Ayyam Gallery, Al Quoz, Dubai, 2011); Feminin Pluriel (Female Plural) (Area Gallery, Paris, France, 2009); Made in Palestine (Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston, Texas, USA, 2003); and many others.

Halaby’s artworks can be found in the collections of Alternative Museum (New York, USA), Barjeel Art Foundation (Sharjah, UAE), Dalloul Art Foundation (Beirut, Lebanon), Darat Al Funun – The Khalid Shoman Foundation (Amman, Jordan), Honolulu Academy of Arts (Honolulu, Hawaii), Institut du Monde Arabe (Paris, France), Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art (Doha, Qatar), and other museums and art institutes.

To learn more about Lasting Impressions: Samia Halaby, please visit the event’s official web page.

You may also be interested in visiting The Scent of Memories by Emirati artist Najat Makki.