Artists

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Bassem Dahdouh

born 1964 in Damascus. Remarkable is the determination of this artist, who presents himself as an observer of war, of the deep wounds in the souls that cannot be healed. Like his artist colleague Omran Younes, he is the most consistent of the exhibiting artists. This can be seen in the processing of the effects and consequences of the drama, which he reproduces in his paintings in the form of dark and grey lines and shadows. Characteristic is also the taming of the forms by his own clear tightness of the painting technique and the sensitivity of the dramaturgy of the painting. This can be clearly seen in the changing reincarnation between bull and man, along with the symbolism of Greek mythology and the blackening of the colours reminiscent of Picasso. An art critic said about him that he poured the pain onto the painting's surface. Dr. Ass`ad Urabi

"In these difficult times of the present war we must pause and be happy that we are still alive and that we love life. For me painting is the safe haven of revelation for what I want and what I know how to do. I allow the painting to sometimes rebel against me. I sometimes submit to what the painting commands and sometimes to what I command. I try to deal with the guardians of the spirit. They often do tricks and deceive us. For me, this is the dance or the play of feelings. Not the feeling that the Dadaists and the Surrealists used to write poetry, imitating free fall. It's more like the late artist Fatih Almudaris put it when he said he always started from scratch with every painting he painted. And so I try to work by living in front of my easel, sometimes with feelings and sometimes without feelings." Bassem Dahdouh

Fouad Dahdouh

born 1960 in Damascus. Sculpture was his domain during his studies and later in his teaching activities. Painting, which he later chose as his profession, became his sphere of activity. He is an outstanding painter whose name is associated with joyful colour festivals. His paintings were exhibited at the Venice Biennale. He also became famous for his graffiti art and 3D design for the backdrops of television series and films. Especially the old Damascene local colour, whose examples we experience in the current scene. His works reflect his humorous and playful nature. His singing talent undoubtedly contributes to the musicality of the colours in his pictures, which like a mirror reflect his optimism, his zest for life, his love of the opposite sex, his wit and humour. The female silhouette is a central theme in his melodic, rainbow-rich paradises, which communicates with the colour materials to the limit of the abstract. Although his spontaneous forms are enriched with the love of everyday pleasures, they cannot hide the latent sadness. It is betrayed by the screaming red, the splinters of the oppressed figures and the rough and precipitously hewn surfaces.
Dr. Ass`ad Urabi

"In this group of characters we see the colours clearer and fresher and the forms become more complex and intense, all placed in a static space. Figures witnessing the condemnation of humanity. The characters are: Me, you and the other. All neglected in the isolation of the inevitable existentialism." Fouad Dahdouh

Adnan Hamidah

born 1962 in Damascus. In his works, which are characterized by light, wind and a stormy brush, a development of his painting technique can be seen. In his paintings he arranges symbolic elements into tightly arranged rooms, similar to pigeon nests, or into small, roughly carved cells. Here the influence of Palestinian Expressionism on the sensitivity of Syrian Expressionism can be felt. Hamideh is an intellectual artist. I remember a remark he made in an interview about the creation of his paintings. He thought that his technique was based on the alternation between destruction and construction, between dismantling, building and renewed dismantling, up to the realization of the essence of the problem and the core question of painting.
Dr. Ass`ad Urabi

"I see a movement in the objects, although they are like rigid rocks when they move through the clouds like the ship on the horizon. I want the viewer to find out what has been drawn and to understand that it represents something he knew before he saw it. Memories of human nature, expressed as colourful music in times of pollution. The movement of colours and shapes produces sounds that seem like beautiful voices. But they are called in a weak voice and there is no one who can answer…" Adnan Hamidah

Adnan Hamidah
Laila Nsser

born 1941 in Lattakia. She continued her art studies begun in Syria in Cairo.
The rigidity of her portrayal of the female faces and bodies, captivated by the grief of women in oriental male society, is characteristic. Her works reflect the agonies of the ego and feminine suffering. The rhythm of the figures depicted and the system of repetitions come very close to those depicted on the walls of Egyptian temples. All this takes place within infinite linear and dissecting transformations, apart from the graceful changes in the light colours, whose lines detach from the surfaces in a contemporary, uniquely intuitive way.
Dr. Ass`ad Urabi

(Lattakia Laila Mousa Nusair)

Laila Nsser: "The elements with animal heads and human bodies serve to reflect the terrible situations that our youth experienced during these attacks and which will now accompany them everywhere. They will show the horrors of war that the Syrian people have experienced with their children, women, youth and elders. Sympathy for the young people who are building up the country, they have suffered great suffering and are now living together in a unique way in the Arab arena. A youth with confidence, love and loyalty to their homeland. As well as my sense of responsibility towards my homeland and the love for this country."

Nizar Sabour

born 1958 in Lattakia. Perhaps he is the best known avant-garde Sufi Expressionist in the Syrian art scene. His academic studies in Moscow gave him the opportunity to get to know the ritual atmosphere of the Orthodox churches. He was inspired by art in monasteries, by icons. Sabour's fund of folkloristic themes is very large. He draws metaphorical borrowings from the heritage of glass painting and from the life stories of knights and heroes of popular legends and sagas. His mythological archive seems to be inexhaustible, using "postmodern" means and methods: pasted pieces of wood on textile tableaux, the reuse of woodworking in mirror wings or the architectural-futuristic furnishing of prayer niches and altars. The exhibited works show how he mixes lifeless materials such as sand, soot-enriched earth and ash (symbol of death) in a complex way. His symbolic works realized with this mixed technique represent the central theme of the current catastrophe, which deserves the title: "The living ash" i.e. "The living death".
Dr. Ass`ad Urabi

"Art is not an amusing pastime, it's an attitude to life."
"The work "Watermelon": This fruit is popular in the East. This is reflected in the colour atmosphere of the painting presenting this fruit in an oriental way, as well as in the frame surrounding the open motif, reminiscent of oriental carpets and mosaics from the region.
The work "Olive Bowl": Given the current Syrian events, I was looking for a topic that unites the Syrians: The olive tree, this sacred tree. Its history in the East goes back thousands of years, and the olive plate is on the table of all Syrians, the rich and the poor of all religions, cultures and nationalities! The work "Maaloula": The city that is famous for its proximity to the mountains, for its language that is still alive today. The language of Jesus Christ. Maaloula's history goes back almost ten thousand years. And during these long centuries it remained unharmed... until 2014."
Nizar Sabour

Edward Shahda

born 1952 in Damascus. He is one of the pillars of the Homs Group. Perhaps Shahda is the most consistent colour artist in the Syrian art scene. Occasionally, he is compared to Pierre Bonard. The richness of his memory nourishes the flow of his spiritual themes, from Assyrian icons to Palmyrian sculptures, legends, poet biographies and Islamic ornaments. Shahda is a totalitarian, pluralistic and secular artist despite the spiritual depth of his saturated colours.
In an elitist way, he communicates with contemporary and modern avant-gardists in Europe, especially with the great colour artists such as Henri Matisse, Bonard, Chagall and Kupka. From the works of these artists he draws the dynamics of the colour relations corresponding to the music, the manifold colour climate, the diversity of their components and the nature of their structures. He seeks paradisiacal hymns in which the fiery songs are extinguished in the blue of the ocean and swim in the volcano of the yellow, in the passions of the grey and the joie de vivre of the purple. Some critics say he paints dream-like worlds.
Dr. Ass`ad Urabi

"I've always been obsessed with drawing. I don't know exactly when I first felt this urge, but I do know that I had it since I was young and quiet. Why draw? ... I just don't know. The shape of the human body fascinates me, I work with it in my painting and it accompanies me in my life's work. Art is a field for delight and pain, and the painting is a white space to give form to thoughts and to create new ones. Time and space determine my painting. Colour is my greatest passion. .... It is my only means of expression, which is why I apply it with great care to the surface of the painting. My works consist of music and colour. A small spot of colour can have an enormous richness of drama and expression and create a visual tension. What always tires me are those beautiful forms that appear on the surface of the painting and refuse to harmonize with the rest of the work, so that I see only two possibilities, either the destruction of the beauty of the work or the complete destruction of the work in favour of its integrity. By placing the signature, I release the painting." Edward Shahda

born 1971 in Al-Hassakeh. He is the youngest and most furious of the exhibiting artists. Very clearly and strongly he expresses the Syrian suffering, so that he stands today as an eloquent symbol of this nightmare. His paintings are full of horror scenes: Coffins for "dead-living", corpses of people who breathe out their last breath with panic fear and eyes observing the details of the dismemberment of their own corpse while waiting for the end. His paintings depict excerpts from this dark scene, like samples under the lens of the microscope. Thus, the design of the figures, the stabbing, slaughtering and skinning seems to be between realistic representation and abstraction. His creative talent is reflected in the firmness of the drawing, the exactness of the colouring and the fineness of the harmony. The acrylic layers of paint accumulate before being sketched again with charcoal pencils. One can feel the open nervousness of the artist, which reveals his talent in intuitive painting. The whole process then ends with the protection of the fragile lines by spraying them with a fixative. At the end of the painting process, he suddenly stops as if he had survived an emergency birth.
Dr. Ass`ad Urabi

Omran Younes

"When art becomes a protest … In this human slautherhouse, a protest against the pain, the invisible, the human moment of fear and death that develops into screams on this white cloth until it becomes painful pores and the black painted lines penetrate the body of the earth like a plough to make art a clear line of certainty… Its price is only life itself." Omran Younes

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