Syrian abstract artist Safwan Dahoul's Dubai exhibition
The acclaimed painter goes on display today
The Ayyam Gallery in Dubai's International Financial Centre (DIFC) launches an exciting new exhibition today by acclaimed Syrian painter Safwan Dahoul.
Firmly established as one of the most prominent Arab artists working today after a stellar debut last year, Dahoul will exhibit paintings created within the last year.
While incorporating his signature monochromatic, minimalistic style, the paintings curated as part of Almost a Dream import a new, more direct engagement with reality on the ground as they relate to recent catastrophic events in the artist's native country of Syria.
Having been invested in 'hulum', the dream, for the past 25 years, Dahoul has begun to distance himself from the realm of the dream and examine whether it is actually dreams that inspire his paintings or something else entirely. This in-between realm of dreaming and not dreaming is evident in several of his bold works.
The first of these grey and white paintings, shown above, is of a wide-eyed angel figure looking down towards a group of children lying motionless, a reference to the innocent children who died last year as a result of chemical warfare.
The angel protagonist is often employed by the artist as a symbolic embodiment of Syria. In another, a large, light greyscale canvas centres Dahoul's crinkled female face. This crumpling effect is a dissolving of sorts, which mirrors the fractionating state of Syria – he states that what is happening in the country is not 'normal', so in the face of this terror, destruction and grief, he presents the face of his signature narrator in an suitably abnormal fashion, creased and with closed eyes suggestive of resignation and to the events unfolding around her.
Almost A Dream runs until March 13 2014.