Asaad Arabi’s artistic journey is a testament to his enduring connection with Damascus, a city that has not only influenced his work but continues to reside within him. Renowned as a distinguished art theorist and critic, Arabi is celebrated as an early pioneer of contemporary painting in the Arab world. Throughout his artistic career, he has consistently reinvented his approach to painting, and this exhibition offers a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of his visual language and creative process.
Arabi’s fascination with cities and the profound impact of their residents on culture has propelled him to explore chromatic processes, abstracted shapes, and modernist figuration in his art.. Childhood memories of Damascus serve as a wellspring of inspiration for Arabi, infusing his paintings with a palpable sense of nostalgia for his homeland.
With powerful brushstrokes and meticulous precision, his abstract paintings depict humans and animals against a backdrop of encompassing, exaggerated color. Often, his compositions feature houses, which hold special significance, symbolizing an emphasis on the ancient city and its enduring legacy.
A closer look of Arabi’s work reveals not only a sense of longing for the vanishing city and its way of life but also poignant reflections on the broader Arab world.As the region undergoes a dramatic transformation, and grapples with debates over identity, culture, and society, Arabi’s art serves as a mirror reflecting these complex dynamics. In various series throughout his extensive career, Arabi masterfully employs composition and colour, creating a harmonious unity among all his pieces.
Within the defined colour blocks of his abstract works, viewers gradually discern figures, architectural forms, and intricate patterns.
Reflecting on his artistic journey, Arabi states, “I follow who reach abstraction with the gradual identification of their ontological or urban diagnoses. I, in turn, did not reach abstraction in the 1980s except after the gradual destruction of the city’s ancient landmarks (Damascus – Sidon – Paris – Cairo, etc.). This is the result of its comprehensive engineering, and the reduction of its alienated memory from its stories and myths.”
About the Artist
Born in Damascus in 1941, Asaad Arabi is a distinguished artist who graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Damascus. He later moved to Paris, France in 1975, where he earned a diploma in painting from the Higher Institute of Fine Arts. Subsequently, he achieved a PhD in Aesthetics from Sorbonne University. Arabi’s works are prominently featured in public and private collections worldwide, including Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris; the Barcelona Contemporary Museum of Art; the National Museum, New Delhi; the National Museum of Korea, Seoul; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah.
About Artbooth Gallery
Founded by Roger El-Khoury in 2019, after 11 years of experience in the art field between Beirut and the United Arab Emirates, Artbooth aims to create a cross-cultural bridge between artists, audiences, and collectors from across the world.
The gallery is dedicated to promoting a wide selection of artworks and exploring new connections and partnerships. From emerging to established artists both at the regional and international level, it aspires to provide artworks best suited for any collector’s satisfaction.
Services include fine art sales consultancy, second market art sales, archiving collections and curating exhibitions.
For more information, please visit www.artboothuae.com.