There are no lines in nature, only areas of colour, one against another – Edouard Manet
In April 2017, Etihad Modern Art Gallery will present Luscious, a group exhibition of five artists, including painters from the UAE, France, Lebanon and Syria.
As Edouard Manet wrote, surfaces of colour are the only tangible reality of a painting. Everything else, such as light and shade, figures or subject matter are mere illusions created by the manipulation of paint through brushstrokes. For Luscious, the curator of Etihad Modern Art Gallery brought together artists whose works manifest this credo of the impressionist movement in their own unique ways.
During her career, Dr. Najjat Makki gradually moved from figurative works towards abstraction, creating a layered style through expressive colours.
Although Khulood Al Jabri remains in the realm of figurative expression, powerful vivid colours dominate her work.
The abstract expressionism from Lama Rommo, evokes a rugged earthly quality, while Amélie Ducommun’s ethereal paintings are reminiscent of aquatic landscapes.
Tala Hammoud Atrouni moves in the precarious periphery between figurative and non-figurative art, which lends her works a titillating edge, while at the same time her use of colours lull her viewers into a peaceful meditative state.
ABOUT ETIHAD MODERN ART GALLERY
Etihad Modern Art Gallery is a multi-purpose art space in the heart of Abu Dhabi, established more than three years ago by H.E. Khaled Seddiq Al Mutawaa. The gallery aims to promote Emirati artists, as well as to encourage the blossoming of the local art scene, whilst building bridges between cultures through international projects and cutting-edge exhibitions.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Dr. Najjat Makki
As the first Emirati woman to receive a government scholarship to study art abroad, Dr. Makki obtained an M.A. in relief sculpture and metalwork at the College of Fine Arts in Cairo in 1977. In 2001 she received a PhD in numerology. Often celebrated for her early work in which she used symbols of Emirati culture and heritage, such as saffron and henna, Makki’s later work is more abstract. She has passed through several stylistic phases, including realism and abstract expressionism. She has developed a technique inspired by modernism and is related to both her local environment and the human condition. Often known for her focus on the female figure and symbols, in recent years, she has created more abstract, layered paintings, distinguishing herself from her peers. She has won numerous awards throughout her career, including the National Award for Arts, Sciences and Literature in 2008.
Najat Makki has exhibited nationally, regionally and internationally. Her work is part of The ADMAF Art Collection and she is featured in the ADMAF publication ‘The Art of the Emirates’ (2015). She participated in the 2013/4 ADMAF exhibition ‘Three Generations’, the first ever group exhibition of Emirati art in the UK; and in 2016 in ‘Portrait of a Nation, one of the largest exhibitions of UAE contemporary art to date at the Abu Dhabi Festival, organised ADMAF.
Khulood Al Jabri
Khulood Al Jabri was born in the UAE. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at UAE University. She also has a Business Administration degree from Abu Dhabi University – Professional Development Programme. She has been a member of UAE Plastic Arts Society, Sharjah, as well as the management of board of UAE Writers Union / Abu Dhabi since 2012.
Al Jabri is known for her unique artistic practice, which combines various artistic influences, reflecting different aspects of the local heritage and community. Her extensive oeuvre is marked by the presence of women in most of her works. That presence is manifested physically, spiritually or as dream-like phantoms.
She is acknowledged as an expert of plastic art and photography at the Ministry of Justice, and as plastic artist at the Ministry of Culture, where she also works on establishing an independent painting studio for the ministry. She was working as vice president of the Plastic Art Department at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development from 2012 until 2014.
She had two solo exhibitions in 2010, and participated in many group exhibitions both in the UAE and overseas. She represented UAE in various art workshops and symposiums in Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Belgium, China, UAE, Kuwait and Oman.
Tala Hammoud Atrouni
Wrought in bold lines, versatile brushwork, and a virtuoso approach to colour, Tala Atrouni’s vivid canvases shimmer with the energy and vibrancy of her native Beirut. Atrouni’s close relationship with her home city is a key element in her impressionistic approach to painting, one that challenges the limits of visibility into abstraction.
Enrolling in the School of Fine Arts at the Lebanese American University in Beirut in 1995, she earned her Bachelor’s degree three years later with an award of excellence in the art of painting and sculpture.
For 11 years, Atrouni lived with her husband in San Francisco, California, inviting new perspectives and richer opportunities in the pursuit of a career in the arts. After working in the high tech industry for three years as a publishing team leader, Atrouni decided to dedicate herself once more to her calling and pursue her graduate studies in the arts. She attended the Academy of Arts University in San Francisco, graduating in 2005 with an MFA degree in illustration. Following 4 years in Muscat, Atrouni is now living and working in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Amélie Ducommun is a French-Swiss artist born in 1983. She graduated from Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris (ENSAD) and the School of Fine Arts in Barcelona. Ducommun is currently living and working in Barcelona.
Ducommun has had exhibitions in various countries: France, Spain, USA, China, Italy, Switzerland, UAE, Portugal, United Kingdom, and Belgium. Furthermore, she participated in various art fairs (Estampa, DEARTE, Art Elysée, etc.) and biennials (Beijing, Dakar, etc.).
In 2009, she was chosen for a two-year residency programme at the Casa de Velázquez by the Academy of France in Madrid. In the same year, she won the Prix Georges Wildenstein Prize.
Following the residency programme, the Miró Foundation in Mallorca commissioned a series of works from her, to interact with the landscape of the island through art. A great number of her works can be found in private collections and public museums, as well as institutions, such as the Casa de Velazquez, the Miro Foundation, or Namoc.
Nature has always played a vital role in Ducommun’s oeuvre, questioning the perception of landscape and the relationship between the elements. In the last decade, she has focused on the element of water and aquatic landscapes, be it the grandiose ocean or the more intimate atmosphere of lakes and rivers.
Lama Al Rommo
Lama Alrommo was born in Syria in 1990. Rommo graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, department of Drawing and Painting. She worked as a lecturer at the faculty of Fine Arts for three years. She also worked as a restorer at the National Museum in Aleppo.
She contributed to several workshops in art camps. She participated in solo and group exhibitions in the Netherlands, Syria and the United Arab Emirates.
She began her research in the field of expressionism, focusing on the relationship between colour and structural composition, as well as the conflict between freedom of expression and meticulous composition. Later, Al Rommo delved into analytical studies to articulate a fine-tuned vision created through linear relationships and spatial reduction. As a result, her recent works reveal an airy, more relaxed composition technique, not shying away from empty surfaces.
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