‘Fragments of Time’ by Samia Halaby at Sfeir-Semler Hamburg

Samia Halaby’s paintings and digital works are on display at Sfeir-Semler Hamburg in a solo show titled ‘Fragments of Time’ from April 4th until August 24th, 2024.

Samia Halaby: Fragments of time, Exhibition view, Sfeir-Semler Gallery Hamburg, Germany, 2024. Courtesy the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery Beirut/Hamburg

Born in 1936 in Jerusalem, Samia Halaby’s artistic journey reflects a life shaped by displacement and a relentless pursuit of innovation. Departing Palestine in 1948, she found herself in the USA by 1951. Her academic pursuits led her through a BA in Design at the University of Cincinnati, followed by studies in art and painting at Michigan State University and Indiana University.

Samia Halaby, Flying with Kazimir Over a City by the Sea, Acrylic on canvas, 170 x 91,5 cm. Courtesy the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery Beirut/Hamburg

Halaby’s teaching career, spanning from 1962 onwards, took her to esteemed institutions such as Yale University School of Art, where she became the first full-time female associate professor. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, she explored perception in her work, experimenting with light, depth, and illusion.

A pivotal moment came during her stay in Hawaii in 1985, where she encountered intense light and vibrant nature, reshaping her artistic style. Embracing technology, she taught herself coding in the 1980s, using early computers to create kinetic paintings that merged art and technology.

Transitioning from single paintings to live digital performances with the Kinetic Painting Group in the 1990s, Halaby’s work continued to evolve. Her paintings from this period exhibit seriality, vibrant colours, and repetitive motifs, mirroring the patterns in her digital creations.

By bridging her digital works from the 1980s with recent canvases, exhibitions showcase the continuity and innovation in Halaby’s practice. Her exploration of abstraction and technological advancement places her firmly within the zeitgeist of her time, reflecting a six-decade-long commitment to pushing artistic boundaries.

Halaby’s work has garnered recognition globally, with placements in prestigious public collections across Europe and the Middle East, including the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

Samia Halaby: Fragments of time, Exhibition view, Sfeir-Semler Gallery Hamburg, Germany, 2024. Courtesy the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery Beirut/Hamburg

Location: Sfeir-Semler Hamburg

Dates: April 4 – August 24, 2024



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