From 21 October to 12 December, Ayyam Gallery
, Dubai presents A Date with Spring, an exhibition of new paintings by Syrian artist Mouteea Murad, which sees the artist merging architectural forms with rich colour.
Murads paintings are composed of ambient strips of colour, marking a departure from the rigid geometric structures of earlier work. The artist describes this stylistic shift as a visual antidote to the political upheaval in the Arab world. While previous works were defined by a strict mathematical approach, Murads new paintings are characterised by a looser, more fluid abstraction.
Though drawing upon Murads experiences of conflict, the artists new paintings are defiantly optimistic, bearing titles which connote beauty and hope; his rejection of negativity in this new body of work serves as a cathartic process for the artist. With Trial No. 91; When Spring Blooms, Murad challenges the seasons appropriation in the term, The Arab Spring, which has become increasingly associated with violence, and employs colours that call to mind the blossoming of life during the Spring.
Murads perception of the physical environment is permeated by his abstracted visual language and he considers the act of observing to be more engaging than attempts to produce realist representations of life. Composed of bands of deep blue and red, in Trial No.90; In the Middle of the Warm Night, Murad presents a view of buildings painted in semi-darkness - an experience the artist describes as seeing night horizontally. He depicts the vertical structures as a series of horizontal stripes that gradually fade into darkness towards the top of the canvas, as if receding into the distance. The aural as well as the visual experience informs Murads painting, as in Trial No. 86; Vision in the Blue Dream. Painted while the artist was listening to music, the work serves as a visual translation of sound, evoking the metal music of Murad's youth.
Born in 1977 in Homs, Syria, Mouteea Murad lives and works in Cairo. His work is housed in private and public collections internationally, including the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts. Selected solo exhibitions include Ayyam Gallery Beirut (2011); Ayyam Gallery DIFC, Dubai (2011); Ayyam Gallery Damascus (2010).