The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Thursday, May 24, 2018

"I Do Not Feel That I Am Free": Iraqi artist Sadik Alfraji exhibits at Ayyam Gallery in London
Sadik Alfraji,, ‘Untitled’, 180 x 180cm. Indian ink, charcoal on rice, Chinese and printed paper on canvas, 2013. Courtesy the artist and Ayyam Gallery.

LONDON.- Ayyam Gallery announces the solo exhibition, I Do Not Feel That I Am Free, by Iraqi artist Sadik Alfraji from 14 March - 27 April 2013. The second exhibition at the newly inaugurated Ayyam Gallery London, this show marks the first time Alfraji has exhibited in the United Kingdom and will feature new works including paintings, drawings and the video installation Godot to Come Yesterday (2013).

Alfraji describes his work as “dealing with the problem of existence”. He confronts the viewer with solitary figures depicted in profile and set against stark backgrounds. These simple forms possess a quiet sadness and sense of isolation; through them, he is able to undergo a cathartic process and address his own displacement from his native Iraq.

Alfraji admits that the changing face of his homeland has informed his practice and continues to do so. Since the American invasion in 2003, both his and global perceptions and beliefs have changed irreparably. This was a conflict that for much of the world was experienced through a television screen with many of the people directly involved becoming anonymous shadows, reduced to a series of statistics of casualties and conflict.

At the core of his work, Alfraji is intrigued by the idea that as humans we are endlessly waiting for something meaningless and futile. This is perhaps most evident in the video Godot to Come Yesterday, which sees two textured grey figures moving and interacting against a black void-like backdrop in a reconstructed vision of Samuel Beckett’s famous absurdist play, Waiting for Godot (1952). In Beckett’s play, two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait in vain for the arrival of a third character named Godot, attempting to distract themselves through various activities and conversations.

In Alfraji’s compositions, the viewer can easily recognise the shape of a human figure taking shape from bold swathes of black. Despite the impression of a uniform application of colour from a distance, upon closer inspection delicate layers of Indian ink and charcoal become apparent. The layering gives the figures an intensity and denseness, making them all the more distinct from their often completely white backdrops. When speaking of his monochrome palette, Afraji refers to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave; that perhaps we are all watching the world as shadows, and as a result our perception of what is real has been limited – and never more so than during a bloody war.

The simplified forms in his works are often punctuated with strikingly detailed elements – a hand lined by the years, or a pensive eye gazing out at the viewer. These details lift Alfraji’s characters out of the two-dimensional realm and breathe life into them, transforming them from an anonymous shadow into a being seeking a human connection.

Born 1960 in Baghdad, Sadik Alfraji lives and works in Amersfoort, The Netherlands. His work is housed in numerous private and public collections including The National Museum of Modern Art, Baghdad; The Art Center, Baghdad; Royal Association of Fine Arts Amman; Shoman Foundation Amman; French Cultural Center, Amman; Novosibirsk State Art Museum, Russia; and the Cluj-Napoca Art Museum, Romania. Solo shows include Ayyam Gallery DIFC, Dubai (2011); Ayyam Gallery Damascus (2011); Stads Gallery, Amersfoort, Netherlands (2010); Station Museum, Houston (2008-9); Stedelijk Museum, Den Bosch (2007-8). Selected group exhibitions include Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2012); Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art, Qatar (2010-11); CBKU & Centeaal Museum, New Salon, Utrecht (2008).

Today's News

March 15, 2013

Museum-kueppersmuehle in Duisburg presents Gilbert & George's "London Pictures"

Ancient Chinese coin found on Kenyan island of Manda by Field Museum expedition

National Gallery of Art receives $30 million in donations to add 12,260 square feet of space

Credit Suisse to donate Trumbull's Portrait of Alexander Hamilton to Crystal Bridges and Met

Exhibition of recent paintings by Howard Hodgkin opens at Gagosian Gallery in Rome

Sotheby's Hong Kong to hold Contemporary Asian Art Spring Sale 2013 on 5 April

Library from New York Seminary set for sale at Freeman’s Auctioneers in Philadelphia

Sotheby's to offer the Didier Hirsch Collection of Contemporary Chinese Art from the 1990s

Christie's presents a European chess collection, including a limited edition Man Ray set

Georgia O'Keeffe Museum announces new Director of Curatorial Affairs Cody Hartley

$816,500 jade vase highlights Maynards' $2.9 million Auction of International and Asian Art

Two great Photo League collections are combined for first comprehensive museum exhibition in three decades

The London Original Print Fair 2013 opens in six weeks at the Royal Academy of Arts

Seven sages of ceramics: Modern Japanese masters at Joan B. Mirviss Ltd.

Ellsworth Bunker Archive sold for $86,581 at auction

Spring Asian Decorative Arts Auction at Bonhams achieves $1.7 million

Prague: Capital of the Twentieth Century - a Surrealist history by Derek Sayer

Smithsonian names architect for South Mall museums master plan

"I Do Not Feel That I Am Free": Iraqi artist Sadik Alfraji exhibits at Ayyam Gallery in London

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- New Rembrandt found after being bought at London auction

2.- Exhibition at Fotohof focuses on groups in society who are at risk of marginalisation

3.- John Brennan collection of Rock n Roll memorabilia offered at RR Auction

4.- A Bob Dylan guitar fetches $495,000 at auction

5.- Exhibition in San Francisco focuses on the latter half of René Magritte's career

6.- 'Mad' king Ludwig II of Bavaria lost gift to composer Richard Wagner gets rare show

7.- New Royal Academy of Arts opens in celebration of its 250th anniversary

8.- Researchers uncover Anne Frank's 'dirty jokes'in her diary

9.- New York art sales near $3 billion in two weeks as uber-rich hunt trophies

10.- Berlin's Ethnological Museum returns grave-plundered artefacts to Alaska

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful