Samia Halaby “Trees and The High Rising City”



From March 13 until April 28, Ayyam Gallery Dubai (DIFC) will proudly present “Trees and The High Rising City,” the solo show of Palestinian artist Samia Halaby. Coinciding with the opening of Art Dubai, which will feature several large collages by Halaby, the exhibition will highlight recent works by the seminal artist.

At this stage in her oeuvre, Halaby has revisited many of the aesthetic breakthroughs that first distinguished her illustrious career. Yet, although her latest canvases draw from earlier experiments, she explores the angular perspective of architecture alongside the textures and variances found in nature, creating compositions that reflect the energy of bodies and masses in motion as they intersect and converge before the viewer-a daring, rarely seen, feat in abstraction.

This collection of late work speaks of an artist who has continuously searched for new ways to visually interpret the world around her. Following the success of her solo exhibition at Ayyam Gallery Beirut in September, which presented over a dozen canvases that hinted at the many periods of her painting, the artist has sought to dismantle the picture plane even further by bringing together elements that have never been simultaneously examined in her work before.

Describing the approach behind these new works Halaby explains, “I have taken a new direction in both subject and form. They were difficult paintings to create and they are hard ones to contemplate – devoid of sentiment, softness, or ornament. I painted with a combination of intuition and intellect, bold impulsiveness combined with careful deliberation. I combined soft and hard and I broke many of my own rules. I felt that I had no historical precedent and it was the first time in a long painting career that I proceeded with a fear of failure.”

Maitha Al Falasi, Art and Culture spokesperson of DIFC, said: “DIFC is delighted to host Samia Halaby’s exhibition, one of the most innovative Arab artists of this generation, through Ayyam Gallery. This collection represents everything Halaby has accomplished throughout her distinguished career, combining elements of her stimulating earlier work with the introspective, daring and analytical insight more apparent in her recent compositions. Exhibiting this seminal artist's work at the start of Art Dubai is truly a proud moment for DIFC."

Born in Jerusalem in 1936, Samia Halaby is a leading Palestinian painter and scholar. An innovator of abstract painting in the Arab world for decades, today she still remains quite influential. Recognized as a major contributor to the school of abstraction in Arab art, Halaby’s work is housed in several museum collections worldwide, most notably the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, The British Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, and The Detroit Institute of Art.

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Samia Halaby DIFC Press Release - Arabic

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Samia Halaby DIFC Press Release - English

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