The Language of Human Consciousness

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Athr Gallery delivers a groundbreaking exhibition titled 'The Language of Human Consciousness' and shows work by over 39 artists from around the world. Most of these artists are exhibiting work for the first time in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East at large. The exhibition 'The Language of Human Consciousness' has been curated by Jumana Ghouth and Mohammed Hafiz.

 

Athr Gallery has established itself as a leading cultural institution, in which providing a platform for local Saudi artists is at its core. Through this exhibition – in which both local and international artists are showcased side-by-side – the intended impact and potential benefits are twofold: establish an association between local Saudi artists and leading international artists, and provide an opportunity for the public to experience international culture through a local exhibition.

Afruz Amighi / Trinity, 2014

Afruz Amighi / Trinity, 2014

Athr Gallery has established itself as a leading cultural institution, in which providing a platform for local Saudi artists is at its core. Through this exhibition – in which both local and international artists are showcased side-by-side – the intended impact and potential benefits are twofold: establish an association between local Saudi artists and leading international artists, and provide an opportunity for the public to experience international culture through a local exhibition.

Gulay Semercioglu / Silver Cube, 2014

Gulay Semercioglu / Silver Cube, 2014

'The Language of Human Consciousness' takes geometry as a starting point, accepting its heritage as a symbol of purity, intelligence and perfection and bringing it towards a more contemporary interpretation as a language for exploring the atypical, the imperfect and the alternative. Works are brought together that seek to dissect segments of times, contexts and places and open them up to universal interpretation. The works, in the potency of the contradiction between their infinite possibilities as geometric compositions and the range of their references – social, political, art historical or other – are reduced to a neutral ground, to a conceivable form.

 

Hazem Harb / Til The End, 2014

Hazem Harb / Til The End, 2014

“The subject of Geometry is one that surrounds us all, it has also been a fundamental contributor to a lot of our [Athr] artists’ practices, so it was inevitable that we would eventually dedicate an entire exhibition to the subject. Our attempt was to survey geometry to the best of our ability. In Saudi Arabia, Geometry in art is commonly seen in sacred geometry; so our intentions were to take things further by shedding light on this broad but specific subject by having both abstraction and sacred geometry coexist in the same space, at the same time. The entire concept of the show comes down to what the title entails; on how the human mind was built to systemize and break subjects apart in order to understand them… in attempts to seek order to chaos. The very diverse list of artists brought together in this show are ones who experiment with the infinite possibilities of a geometric language; ones who attempt to dissect these possibilities to a human and conceivable form." (Jumana Ghouth, curator).

Marlon de Azambuja / Operaciones, 2014

Marlon de Azambuja / Operaciones, 2014

“Whilst putting this exhibition together and bringing over 39 artists with different backgrounds, practices, gender, nationalities and beliefs, it was more and more evident that Geometry was in fact a universal application, which only strengthened our conviction in the importance of this show. What was also very significant to us was the reaction of the audience to the show and more importantly, the panel discussion; which brought together pioneering artists in the field who apply Geometry in very different ways. The experience for both the participants and the audience was a memorable one.” (Mohammed Hafiz, curator)

The exhibition examines geometry in a comprehensive exhibition that showcases a multitude of applications in geometry. The dynamic exhibition includes sacred geometry as well as work that unconventionally utilizes geometry, like the work of Sama Mara, who presents a series titled 'A Hidden Order', a culmination of several years of collaboration between composer Lee Westwood and artist Sama Mara; where they attempted to interpret music into a visual geometric form. Work by pioneering artists such as Josef Albers, Rasheed Araeen, Richard Deacon, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Sol Lewitt and Gebran Tarazi are on view.

Josef Albers is a pioneering abstractionist, color theorist, and one of the most influential art teachers. From 1950 to 1958 he served as head of the design department at Yale University. Albers was the first living artist to be given a solo show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. His work has been exhibited in many prominent institutions and museums including the Tate Modern in London (2006) and Centre Pompidou in Paris (2012) His work is part of the permanent collection at the Guggenheim Museum, New York.

Nargess Hashimi / Carpet, 2014

Nargess Hashimi / Carpet, 2014

Rasheed Araeen is a Pakistani national and London-based conceptual artist, sculptor, painter, writer, curator and founder of the The Third Text – will also be participating in the exhibition with his work, Zero to Infinity – of which a variation of the work was exhibited and acquired by the TATE Modern. The installation consists of one hundred multi-colored cubes. The discussion will end with Rasheed inviting guests to move the units around the gallery, disrupting the uniform display to leave the cubes in a more complex and spontaneous arrangement.

Rasheed Araeen / Zero to Infinity

Rasheed Araeen / Zero to Infinity

Richard Deacon’s voluptuous abstract forms have placed him at the helm of British sculpture since the 1980s and, hugely influential, his works are visible in major public commissions around the world; he was also the 1987 Turner Prize winner and has recently concluded a major solo exhibition at the TATE Modern in London.

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian's distinguished career has spanned more than five decades. Incorporating traditional reverse glass painting, mirror mosaics and principles of Islamic Geometry with a modern sensibility; her sculptures and installations defy easy categorization. Athr Gallery is fortunate enough to be given an opportunity to showcase Monir’s older works on paper that are rarely seen. She has recently published Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian - Cosmic Geometry, which was edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist.

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian / Drawing 02, 2009,

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian / Drawing 02, 2009,

Lewitt was pivotal in the creation of the new radical aesthetic of the 1960's that was a revolutionary contradiction to the 'Abstract Expressionism' current in the 1950's and 60's New York school.

Gebran Tarazi devoted his life to the pursuit of abstraction both in literature and in painting and is considered at the forefront of Arab artists who deal with geometry. He is the author Variations Géométriques (Geometric Variations); the product of fifteen years of visual research realized in all the complications of the subject.

Sara Salman / Solar, 2009,

Sara Salman / Solar, 2009,

Athr Gallery will deliver an outreach program that includes an extensive education program in September. By bringing together international experts to Saudi Arabia, Athr Gallery is keen on educating and broadening the understanding of geometry in art and design.

Participating artists are Josef Albers, Ricardo Alcaidie, Salwa Aleryani, Afruz Amighi, Rasheed Araeen, Dana Awartani, Marlon de Azambuja, Rana Begum, James Clar, Graham Day, Ayman Yossri Daydban, Richard Deacon, Adrian Esparza, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Mounir Fatmi, Basmah Felemban, Babak Golkar, Hazem Harb, Nargess Hashimi, Sahand Hesmayan, Saba Innab, Nadia Khawaja, Sol LeWitt, Hazem Mahdy, Sama Mara & Lee Westwood, Moataz Nasr, Timo Nasseri, Mujahidin Nurrahman, Seckin Pirim, Younes Rahmoun, Dania Al Saleh, Nasser Al Salem, Sara Salman, Gulay Semercioglu, Seher Shah, Ayesha Sultana, Gebran Tarazi, Michael John Whelan, Ralf Ziervogel.

Islamic Arts Magazine

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