About The Work
Samia Halaby’s newest body of work reflects on her current season of life; they are her ripest paintings yet, brimming with refined simplicity and intuitive complexity. They are a honing of her aesthetic journey to represent the general in nature without any superfluity: a result of the decades of teaching herself to see. Yet, they hold an incredible variety of intricate moving parts, unplanned and difficult to explain, that twirl and swirl together like her favorite dish: a bowl of soft Soba noodles. This seeming contradiction itself embodies the simplicity and complexity of Halaby’s latest work.
Continuing with her previous exploration of transparency and patterns, the artist intends to capture the simultaneous presence of shapes distinguishable by color that co-exist in one canvas and imitate her daily activities. By allowing semi-transparent layers to overlap and illustrate degrees of density and softness, Halaby provokes our consciousness to consider our interactions with social and physical environments.
While teaching at the Kansas City Art Institute in 1964, Samia Halaby travelled to the Eastern Mediterranean as part of a faculty research grant and studied the geometric abstraction of the region’s Islamic architecture, leading to a series of experiments that initiated a career-long investigation of the materialist principles of
abstraction. Halaby works with the conviction that new approaches to painting can redirect ways of seeing and thinking. This underlying notion has led to additional experiments in drawing, printmaking, computer-based kinetic art, and collage. Born in Jerusalem in 1936,
Samia Halaby’s selected solo shows for the artist include Ayyam Gallery, Al Quoz, Dubai (2017 & 2014); Birzeit University Museum, Ramallah (2017); Beirut Exhibition Center, Lebanon (2015); Ayyam Gallery, London (2015, 2013); and Ayyam Gallery, Beirut (2010).
She has participated in recent group shows at Katzen Art Center, American University Museum, Washington, USA (2017); Palestine Museum, Birzeit, Palestine (2017); Galerie Tanit, Munich, Germany (2017); Zürcher Gallery, New York, USA (2016); 3rd Qalandiya International Biennial (2016); Darat Al Funun, Amman (2015); the National Academy of Arts, New York (2015); The Guggenheim Museum, Abu Dhabi (2014); Broadway 1602, New York (2014); and Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris (2009).
Founded in 2006, Ayyam Gallery is a leading arts organisation with an art space in Dubai. A series of collaborative projects in the United States, Europe and Asia, alongside a multinational non-profit arts programme, have furthered the gallery’s mandate of expanding the parameters of international art. With its widely respected multilingual publishing division and a custodianship programme that manages the estates of pioneering artists, Ayyam Gallery has also contributed to recent efforts to document underrepresented facets of global art history.