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Exhibition of the Month

In the Limelight

Trails of Colours

New Oil Paintings by Ali Qleibo

Via Maris.

Trails of Colours explores the painterly presentation of Jerusalem and the Palestinian rural landscape. The collection features approximately 25 oil paintings by the veteran Jerusalem artist Ali Qleibo. The exhibition is organized by the French Cultural Center and will be on view at Chateaubriand Art Gallery on Salah El Din Street in Jerusalem from March 10 through March 23, 2022.

Almond Blossom (detail).

In Trails of Colours, artist, anthropologist, and renowned author Ali Qleibo argues that the artist’s principal goal should be “truth to nature.” For the artist, this “truth” is more than just a technical representation of the natural world on canvas. Rather, he believes that art should depict the perceived reality as humanity experiences it. In his oil works, Qleibo depicts the trees, mountains, sky, and stones in his landscapes as ethereal and majestic –but also as overwhelming and, at times, mysterious. The artist believes that in depicting landscape in a manner that elicits sensations of mystical beauty, he is able to render an authentic representation of the sublime, evoking feelings of awe and human transcendence.

The Florist at Damascus Gate.

Qleibo notes that “the sense of sight mediates our relationship with the plastic arts, be it in the form of sculpture, architecture, or painting. Neither words, nor singing, nor dancing can express the visual tactile experience and nuances of color, texture, and rhythm.” He elaborates, “We are both allured and rendered speechless, overwhelmed by the tactile visual experience of color.”

Autumn leaves.

Qleibo further explains: “The painterly artwork is a poetic narrative in color whose discursive semiology and syntax find expression in color and form. Trails of Colours invites the viewer to a vista in which color, line, lighting, and shading are underscored. Time plays an important role in reading the artwork. Each painting may be compared to a musical score composed of movements with different moods, each of which rich with its own separate color hues and values, its own pitch, texture, and cadence, that dovetail with each other, bound by a thematic leitmotif that imparts the painterly composition its coherence.”

Dream City.

“My paintings express a unity of vision,” Qleibo continues. “Each artwork has its details and its own distinctive nuances, its points of lyrical harmony and of dissonant cacophony. Each painting encapsulates a set of challenges and corresponding solutions in which sheer coincidence determines the final image… In the creative process the artist unleashes the intellectual, psychological, and emotional convulsions. In the elusive process of self-discovery, the artwork assumes the function of transcendence, personal expression, and identity. In these stressful times, feelings of melancholic nostalgia imbue my paintings with a wistful romantic feel, a reflection of the sad turbulences Jerusalem experiences and my sense of exile.”

The gallery is open Monday through Thursday, and Saturday: 10:00 to 18:00; closed Sunday and Friday.

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