Urbanist Gallery Collective Exhibition
Urbanist Art Gallery: The 2nd Edition of the Collective Exhibition
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Urbanist Art Gallery in Dubai, which has relocated to a new venue on Boxpark Al Wasl Road, is holding its second Collective Exhibition featuring eight artists from the region. These are Diana Almardini, Khaled Juratly, Malini Karani, Chadi Nassar, Ghazal Tamer, Ihab Ahmad, Omar Alakhras, Rana Lotfi, Louma Rabah, and Nawar Shartouh. Employing various mediums ranging from oil and acrylic on canvas to AI, in their exhibited works the artists explore different themes including hope, fantasy, destruction, and feminism.

About the participants

The paintings by Syrian artist and interior designer Diana Almardini are figurative but use expressionist modes of representation. Digital Emirati artist Khaled Juratly creates collages by combining photography with design; in them, he addresses and criticises the grim realities of war. Dr Malini Karani, an architect, interior designer, and artist based in Dubai, delves into issues of identity and cultural heritage in her paintings. Generative artist Chadi Nassar uses AI to create his digital art pieces and collages. Ghazal Tamer utilises mixed media to produce his abstract art pieces with deeper meanings. Young Syrian artist Nawar Shartouh works in a surrealist style and depicts exaggerated figures to express psychological states. In his drawings and paintings, he reflects his own life experiences.

Chadi Nassar, Travel Series – Abstract Dubai Skyline #3 (Art Print).

Ihab Ahmad (b. 1983, Beirut, Lebanon) is a Lebanese artist whose work is deeply inspired by his childhood. Working in acrylic, he paints numerous cartoon-styled symbols (fish, eyes, trees, etc.) interwoven with bold patterns and geometric forms. He also makes sculptures from metal and wood. Through creating his vivid artworks, Ahmad aims to defy his childhood memories of war and focus on dreaming.

Omar Alakhras (born in Homs, Syria) is a painter and architect living in Beirut, Lebanon. He uses archetypes in his paintings with symbolic overtones. According to the artist’s own words, his work can be considered a mirror which reflects the contradictions of reality “with a suitable addition to the concept of Love and Hope”.

Rana Lotfi (born in Damascus, Syria) is an artist and graphic designer in whose work “the Old” and “the New” are combined and who immigrated to the USA from Syria in 2002. Her art is greatly influenced by growing up in “a rich historic part of the world” (she used to often visit the National Museum of Damascus, which showcases the world’s best collections of ancient artefacts) and visiting contemporary art galleries in Damascus and Beirut. Lotfi says that in her work, she strives to reflect her relationship between her growing up in Damascus and her experience as an Arab American artist and immigrant. While some of Lotfi’s paintings are abstract, others portray women in an ode to femininity.

Rana Lotfi, Burn Cities. Mixed Media with Acrylics and Oil Pastels on canvas. 20 x 35 in.

Louma Rabah (b. 1980) is a Lebanese artist residing in Beirut. She is best known for her paintings of vibrant Lebanese towns and land- and cityscapes rendered in an expressionist style. The expressive intense colours the artist employs in her artworks come from her childhood memories. “My dad used to work in agriculture, so it was always about nature, flowers and trees,” Rabah explains. For her, art is the only way to forever conserve moments, emotions, nature, and endangered heritage.

Louma Rabah, Angel Watch Over My Country. Acrylic and Collage on Canvas. 70 x 50 cm.

The Collective Exhibition at Urbanist Art Gallery will be on view until the 10th of August, 2023. To get more information about it, please visit the gallery’s official website.

You might also be interested in visiting SYNTHESIS: 2023 MFA Graduate Show and Roots and Reflections: A Journey through Time and Nature.