Tabari Artspace Ziad Al Najjar
Tabari Artspace: Under Your Eyes by Ziad Al Najjar
   Reading 2 min

Until the 31st of January, 2023, one is invited to admire the art of visual artist Ziad Al Najjar from the UAE which are on display at Tabari Artspace. The artist’s first solo exhibition titled Under Your Eyes features his two and three-dimensional artworks that push the boundaries of process, materiality, and visual perception.

One of the bright emerging artists, Ziad Al Najjar (born in 2001) is set to graduate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the USA, with a BFA degree in May. The series of art pieces that he has created for the show includes silkscreen prints and works on canvas. Establishing an interplay between organic and inorganic forms, Al Najjar infuses his work with influences from the natural world and his everyday life. 

Ziad Al Najjar, Untitled, 2022. Acrylic, oil pastel & mixed media on canvas. 18 1/2 × 14 1/5 in | 47 × 36 cm

Among the things that inspired the artist there is Islamic art, 13th – 17th century Persian miniatures depicting animals and natural elements. These images can be seen in his abstract compositions. They fill his work with associations and references for the viewer to surmise and feel in tune with. “I’ve always had animals and I feel a certain connectedness with them,” Al Najjar says. “They are a different way of looking at our ecosystem or the world.”

In his work, Al Najjar is guided by his instincts and the process rather than the vision of an end result. He says that he often works on several paintings at a time. When the artist feels that he’s reached a stagnant point with one artwork, it is time for him to switch to another one in an attempt to refresh his thoughts. 

Ziad Al Najjar, Ras(k), 2022. Acrylic, oil pastel & mixed media on canvas. 19 7/10 × 15 7/10 in | 50 × 40 cm

Al Najjar works on an unstretched canvas, focusing on its material properties. His palette is as crucial to his artistic process as his conceptual thinking. First, he layers his canvas with soft, diluted acrylic paint; colours are often absorbed from the earth and sky. Dense layering of colours is followed by meticulous mark-making. Then the artist sweeps the canvas with vivid oil pastel, his forms represent the precision and fluidity of patterns appearing in nature. Manipulating depth and tone, he explores optical creation and illusively engages with the illusionary. 

To get more information about the Under Your Eyes exhibition, please visit its official web page.

You might also be interested in visiting the show “Fahrelnissa and the Institutes: Towards a Sky”.