Ayyam Gallery Jeddah is pleased to present 'The Seat of Perception III', a solo exhibition of paintings by Lebanese artist Walid El-Masri, from 4 June - 10 July 2013.
Lebanese artist Walid El-Masri has in recent years concentrated his attention on a single material subject for his dynamic canvases: a chair. In each of his paintings, he pares down the architecture of the chair to a simple and evocative configuration of shapes and lines, and positions it so that this form is unexpectedly truncated or cropped by the edge of the canvas. Patches or swathes of bright colour punctuate the lower portions of the paintings, serving to counterbalance the decentralised position of the subject and to harmonise each composition.
Through his continuing focus on the unassuming but immediately recognisable form of a chair, El-Masri explores different configurations of colour, pattern and texture in his work. Although ostensibly treating the same subject matter, each of his paintings has a vitality and movement of its own, animated by the movement of expressively applied paint. El-Masri’s paintings defy categorisation as either figurative or abstract: the suggestion of spatial perspective achieved by his elegantly delineated shapes is offset by the flatness of the picture plane and areas of two-dimensional pattern.
The sharp truncation of the top of the chairs and their lack of spatial context also lends a tension to the works, forcing the viewer to imagine its continuation into the space beyond the edges of the canvas. The inanimate chair, although the only recognisable subject of El-Masri’s painting, is ultimately unknowable, and suspended in a realm of colour and space that is not our own.
Born in 1979 in Syria, Walid El-Masri lives and works in Paris. A graduate of the Faculty of Fine Arts in Damascus, his solo exhibitions include: Ayyam Gallery Beirut (2013); Ayyam Gallery DIFC, Dubai (2012); Ayyam Gallery Al Quoz, Dubai (2009); Ayyam Gallery Damascus (2008).