Black: Rabee Kiwan

19 September - 16 October 2022

In exhibition 'Black',  the works mark the artist’s first showing in Dubai and reveal his explorations of the human figure in various states of emotion grappling with the changing state of the world

Fann A Porter has announced that it will host a solo exhibition for Syrian artist Rabee Kiwan at its Dubai gallery from September 19 until October 16. The exhibition, titled Black on display recent works by the artist revealing the human face and body in various states of heightened expression all painted with varying amounts of black paint. The figures, often forlorn and melancholic, sometime with facial features and sometimes without, seemingly contemplate with awe, surprise, sadness and even shock, the various rapid effects of change that are affecting the world around them. Besides his subjects’ expressive positions as they ponder and at times writhe through their questioning of the state of things around them. 


While some carry expressions of astonishment, other figures appear locked within their own inner world—somehow protecting them from the chaotic changes outside. Notable is the shape of the eyes for each subject. With their wide oval shape, they are reminiscent of the Arab world’s ancient civilizations, such as found on Sumerian sculptures where the size of the eyes signified a person’s socio-economic status. Here, in Kiwan’s work, these eyes, while reflective of the region’s ancient origins, are emblematic of the vast transformations taking place at a societal, environmental, and cultural level. 


Each work is made from a mix of canvas, collage, and various media. The painting, explains Kiwan, is made of various surfaces using fabrics on top of the canvas or on different parts of the human figure that he paints beforehand. “I create my art by searching through various materials, including different paints, fabrics and canvas, to achieve a form that contains an aesthetic and intellectual content derived from my life experience, my relationship with objects, people and my visual memory.” In so doing, Kiwan creates palimpsests of different materials and subject matter by using techniques of collage and installation. While the different material Kiwan uses is important, the human figure or face is still the protagonist. He creates his men and women in black on a raw surface and then adds bits of color heightening their emotional and figurative sense of expression. 


Black marks the artist’s first exhibition in Dubai. The exhibition will open on Monday, 19 September at 7 pm at Fann A Porter, gallery space located at The Workshop Dubai, located at Villa 45 - St. 23b - Al Wasl Rd opposite Box Park - Jumeirah 2, Dubai, U.A.E.