About The Work
Nothing is Certain, Everything is Melting, and that’s Okay, explores space through carefully curated compositions in which Athier places geometric blocks, marble slabs and rubble, squiggles, foam, plastic toys, curvilinear objects and patterned forms in a milieu he’s partially designed and partially imagined. Marble melts into plastic, which melts into water, which melts into metal: There is no hierarchy of form. These objects exist in a world that has no mass or gravity, a world that is light in restrictions. Similar to the previous body of work, the artist introduces three-dimensional elevations. Within these scenes, Athier uses old photos of Jean Arp sculptures, as yet another tool to challenge the viewer to r edefine what has form and what is flat. This show features a number of works from an earlier series called All Things Come Apart, which can be seen as a prelude to the current paintings. Uncertainty, balance and light have become increasingly instrumental in the artist’s depiction of space.
Athier’s compositions weave contemporary forms with layers of nostalgia: Influenced heavily by the Memphis movement of the 1980’s, the early Italian surrealists and the muted colours and simple forms of early 3D computer graphics. And much like the early surrealists, the artist maintains a meticulous dedication to believability, using as many perspective rules as he can within the scenes he creates, before pulling gravity away and watching them crumble. All these objects seem to melt into the unknown, portraying a sense of dreamlike uncertainty. And that’s okay.
Born in 1982, Athier lives and works between Paris, London, and Istanbul, and holds a graduate degree in Communication Design with Illustration from Central Saint Martins, UK. In recent years Athier Mousawi’s work has centred on posing unanswerable questions against undefined answers, forming a visual narrative between the two. Since 2007, the subject of much of his work has been Iraq and his diasporic relationship to his foreign homeland, as well as the concept of nostalgic referencing in how we idolise and remember our past, present, and future. Of the main constructs used in Athier's painting, the initial response is that of scale and colour, which guide the viewer through his multidimensional compositions. Symbolism in these large-scale paintings is weaved through layers of fluid figurative forms and hard edge geometric shapes. Athier’s selected solo and group exhibitions include: Ayyam Gallery - 12 Alserkal Avenue, Dubai (2018,2016); Ayyam Gallery Beirut (2017); Nest Gallery, Geneva, Switzerland (2014); Ayyam Gallery London (2014); Ayyam Gallery Beirut (2013); Edge of Arabia, London, UK and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (2013); Cuadro Fine Art Gallery, Dubai, UAE (2013); National Portrait Gallery, London, UK (2011); The Royal Academy, London, UK (2011); Tashkent International Art Biennale,
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (2011).
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.