Press Print! Aisha Alabbar
Press Print! at Aisha Alabbar Gallery
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Until 7 September 2023, Aisha Alabbar Gallery is hosting Press Print!, a group exhibition displaying artworks by eight artists residing in the UAE: Azim Al Ghussein, Brian Gonzales, Diego Mendoza, Hala El Abora, Ji-Hye Kim, Khalid Mezaina, Safeya Sharif, and Salama Nasib. The show’s focus is on printmaking practices in the Emirates. It demonstrates the experimental potential and the variety of techniques which are available to art practitioners today.

Azim Al Ghussein, an illustrator and printmaker, creates his prints utilising linocut, Tetra Pak drypoint, and risograph techniques. His practice is based on sharing and gift giving as his resources allow. He is interested in hospitality, value, and labour as they function and change within different cultural contexts.

Brian Gonzales, a printmaker and lecturer, creates his artworks using printmaking with polyester plate lithography and alternative ink technology. In the exhibition, he is represented by his new collection of CMYK screenprints that depict abstract compositions and bright colour schemes.

Brian Gonzales, Hopeless Enigma 3, 2023. Screen print. 104 x 75 cm (unframed). 110 x 82 cm (framed).

Mexico-born artist Diego Mendoza‘s artistic practice features etching and screen printing. In his artworks, pattern compositions of overlapping imagery, he explores representations of masculinity and questions his own place within it. Mendoza examines human iconography and collages images from historical, current, and cross-cultural sources to emphasise conventions and conformity.

Hala El Abora, a multidisciplinary Palestinian-Jordanian artist fascinated with the concept of permanence, focuses on preserving and archiving in her work. She takes an experimental and interdisciplinary approach to materialise her printmaking process beyond the surface.

Hala El Abora, I Will Keep You Safe I, 2021. Double-sided etched zinc plates casted in clear resin. 18 x 18 cm.

Ji-Hye Kim, a Korean artist and printmaker, brings up the question of self-identity using metaphors from natural occurrences. Her latest artworks, large-scale monoprints, are dedicated to the resilience of the UAE’s mountains against acts of nature. Although wind and rain cause slight change to their surface, the mountains remain unaffected.

Ji-Hye Kim, Strata, 2022. Monoprint. Screen print on craft paper. Variable dimensions. 90 x 60 cm (each, 15 pieces). Courtesy of the artist.

Khalid Mezaina gets his inspiration from Emirati culture. His new mixed media prints on paper and fabric are the result of his research on regional and historical talismanic practices. In these works, Mezaina repetitively uses simple shape stamps to compose pictures of movement rituals.

The art making process of Safeya Sharif encompasses not only printmaking, but also photography, painting, and graphic design. The main subject she explores in her work is the mind and how it could be altered. In her latest embossed and linocut prints, the artist delves into selective memory and highlights the correlation between memory and imagination.

Salama Nasib‘s work is devoted to the subject of memory and its ideas. To make her new series of prints, she took pictures from old family photo albums. The artist looks at childhood desires to play, collaging a print illustration of her family home’s slide against screenprinted backdrops of the past. These artworks are accompanied by voice recording as an added layer to the prints, in what Nasib calls “spoken memories”.

Salama Nasib, Like A Child Series, Playing 2, 2023. Monoprint. Screen print and collage on Bunkoshi paper. 20 x 30 cm (unframed). 26.5 x 36.5 cm (framed).

To learn more about the Press Print! exhibition, please visit its official web page.

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