Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 17 August 2018

Art Dubai: Kashya Hildebrand brings a solo show from Marwan Sahmarani

Marwan Sahmarani’s Study for an Explosion 2, 2014, ink on paper, 70 x 50 cm. Courtesy of Kashya Hildebrand Gallery
Marwan Sahmarani’s Study for an Explosion 2, 2014, ink on paper, 70 x 50 cm. Courtesy of Kashya Hildebrand Gallery

One of the many booths that I am looking forward to at Art Dubai is Kashya Hildebrand Gallery who are bringing a solo show from the Abraaj Group Art Prize 2010 winner Marwan Sahmarani.

As director of Art Dubai Antonia Carver explained, many of the galleries at this year’s fair have dedicated their booths to well curated solo shows that would be at home in a gallery or even museums.

This booth will be focused around a central painting The Bomb (2014). It is three metres high and as the name suggests it is an explosion of colour and masterful brushstokes. It is a direct response to war, as many of his paintings are. This Lebanese artist has spent the last 20 years moving between his turbulent home country and Spain and he expresses his experiences through very powerful abstracted art.

The other paintings in the booth are all large oil-on-canvas works, with a few works on paper and some studies towards his larger works. It gives audiences the chance to see this artist’s evolvement since winning the Abraaj Prize in 2010.

I love the fact that he says that for his recent show in the London gallery (Kashya Hildebrand) he was inspired by Picasso’s Guernica, created after the bombing of a Basque village in Spain during the Spanish civil war. If you look at his paintings for long enough images show the horrors and death of war, captured between swirls of paint. “My work is another way of seeing the reality of the region,” he told Middle East Monitor at the time.

Many of his works contain more black, which highlights his brushstrokes and also allows the darkness of his work to come through. There are also moments of peacefulness too, created during his time in Spain where he paints in the open air and this process allows his practice to develop further. I am really looking forward to experiencing these pieces first hand at the fair.

* Art Dubai runs from March 18-21 at Madinat Jumeirah. Kashya Hildebrand Gallery will be in the Contemporary Halls.