Michael Halak, Cracked Olives, 2018. Oil on canvas, 140 x 100 cm
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Terra Un(firma) is a dual exhibition of Haifa-based, Palestinian hyperrealists Samah Shihadi and Michael Halak at Tabari Artspace gallery in Dubai. The exhibition was originally intended to be the solo exhibition of Samah Shihadi, scheduled to take place at Cromwell Place in London, October 2020 then the exhibition has evolved in unexpected ways, first with a digital showcase and now with a physical exhibition in Dubai which now encompasses a body of work by fellow Haifa-based hyperrealist, Michael Halak.

Terra Un(firma) exhibition view at Tabari Artspace
Terra Un(firma) exhibition view at Tabari Artspace

Samah Shihadi’s work oscillates between classical-figurative realism, which dutifully captures and records that which surrounds her and fantastical surrealism that draws from the artist’s preoccupations with mysticism. Shihadi employs a dramatic approach to hyperrealism sketching using chiaroscuro to form a magical reality which blends both fiction and fantasy. Symbolism – religious, ritualistic, political and cultural – is interwoven into much of Shihadi’s work, forming complex layers that the viewer must unpack in order to absorb deeper meanings. The body of work produced by Shihadi for Terra Un(firma) is divided into two segments, The Living and The Land, which take the artist’s personal narratives and feminist outlook as a starting point from which to explore issues faced by women, across cultures, in the contemporary moment.

Terra Un(firma) exhibition view at Tabari Artspace
Terra Un(firma) exhibition view at Tabari Artspace

Michael Halak’s art follows western traditions of realist, illusory painting, but diverges in content which conflates local and global realities. This combination opens up the opportunity for multiple readings of his work and urges the viewer to consider more closely the contents with which they are presented. For Terra (Un) Firma the seven selected paintings by Halak capture the faces, social scenes and landscapes which immediately surround him.

Selections is taking you on a guided tour through the exhibition in the above gallery.

Terra (Un) Firma is on view until the 15th of March.


This information is extracted from the press release.

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