Abstraction of Solitude
Open Saturday through Thursday, 11:00–18:00, until June 20, 2021
Thick brushstrokes of paint, weary landscapes, naked bodies, politics, and even the present-day pandemic, a pure form of expression and reflection into the artist’s soul. In his latest retrospective exhibition titled Abstraction of Solitude, artist Mohamed Khalil creates the sensation of walking right into his private studio.
Zawyeh Gallery is a Ramallah-based art gallery with a new branch in Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, dedicated to presenting Palestinian art and artists to the world. Having been represented in Zawyeh’s digital and physical platforms, Mohamed’s current solo exhibition is the first to be featured in the gallery following his participation in the 2020 Ramallah Art Fair.
The beginning of the twenty-first century marks the starting point of the period covered by the collection. From this section of the artist’s career, a couple of unique pieces on cardboard are exhibited – pieces that were produced by Mohamed during his stay in Paris in the year 2000.
Spanning more than 40 years, Mohamed’s artistic practice engages with a series of topics and visual languages that are presented in his newly released book titled Mohamed Khalil. This book was the primary source of inspiration for this exhibition, as it was the main comprehensive source of information about the artist and his practice. Standing as a holistic re-collection of works throughout the artist’s career, this retrospective manifests Mohamed’s craft as a painter, a statement that goes beyond traditional visuals that are usually encountered by spectators and consumers of Palestinian arts and culture. Further to the paintings displayed in the gallery space, there is a wider digital collection available online that is grouped under four main categories: landscapes and seascapes, abstracts, portraits, and nudes.
Notorious for his bold brushstrokes and expressive compositions, Mohamed’s color palette is wide and vivid. The exhibition highlights a selection of canvases and paper works, on which acrylic is the predominant material. A tour de force of Mohamed’s nude canvases is Model #8 (2018), a bicolor painting in which the artist uses a few bright-orange lines, contrasting with a dark background, to depict the foreshortened body of a relaxed nude woman. Even with a single color in the background, the artist expresses a sense of movement on which the body seems to float effortlessly.