Ayyam Gallery is pleased to present Nota Bene, a solo exhibition featuring works by Abdul Karim Majdal Al-Beik. ‘The walls alone know our secrets,’ wrote Imad Mustafa, a poet and one
Ayyam Gallery is pleased to present Nota Bene, a solo exhibition featuring works by Abdul Karim Majdal Al-Beik.
‘The walls alone know our secrets,’ wrote Imad Mustafa, a poet and one of Al-Beik’s closest friends. This nota bene is just one of many composed by Al-Beik. “If walls are the canvases of madmen, then these madmen are my teachers,” he once wrote. Walls are people’s palimpsest and the daubed drops of paint, their ink. Through the plaster and paint, Al-Beik tells us society’s stories.
Al-Beik’s creativity reﬂects wisdom and sensibility beyond his years. The artist notices how each wall possesses a different character that, over time, changes shape, texture, and color thanks to the sun and the rain. Al-Beik and his work register time, climate, and environment, life’s inevitables. Al-Beik infuses each canvas with the essence of his surroundings, revealing in the individuality each piece offers. Careful to maintain authenticity in his expression, basic wall-building materials are Al-Beik’s tools. To reconstruct the passage of time, he applies several layers to each canvas.
Projecting himself into the future and stepping away from a cataloging approach. In this series, Abdul Karim wonders about the unfolding of the walls. Will they capture and absorb the violence and atrocities their owners witnessed? What layers will be added to portray and recreate the pain? Al-Beik shakes the need for authenticity to reality, now using these walls as a medium of expression.
Diving into his imagination and taking from the DADA movement, Al-Beik introduces objects in his compositions. Guns and knives are scattered across the canvases, surrounded by gestural strokes capturing the intensity of the depicted period. Survival and death are translated through the scarecrows and crosses. Adjacent to these symbols are stitching marks, seemingly keeping everything together, acting as signs of hope. The walls and canvases become symbolic abstractions of reality. Throughout the process, Al-Beik questions these objects and their presence, has war taken over our lives? Can it be that arms are now replacing adolescent love letters and graffiti?
Courtesy of Ayyam Gallery
Artwork caption: Abdul Karim Majdal Al-Beik, Scarecrows, 2012, Mixed Media on Canvas, 180 x 180 cm.
September 22 (Wednesday) - November 5 (Friday)
B11, Alserkal Avenue Exit 43 of SZR Street 8, Al Quoz 1 Dubai, United Arab Emirates