Currently on view at Meem Gallery in Dubai is Art in Iraq Today: Part V, the final part of five exhibitions displaying contemporary Iraqi art. Curated by Dia Al-Azzawi, the exhibit features recent work by Ali Jabbar, Halim Al-Karim, and Mahmoud Obaidi. The show reveals the varying artistic depths of Iraqi contemporary artists practicing throughout the world. It pays tribute to the memory of Jabra Ibrahim Jabra and his influential essays on modern Iraqi art entitled “Art in Iraq Today.”
From Ali Jabbar’s mystical architectural constructions and Halim Al-Karim’s eerie photographs which highlight unresolved political and social issues to Mahmoud Obaidi’s mixed media conceptual subjects, the artworks on display capture a varying range of Iraqi contemporary art made in diverse mediums.
The works report on contemporary issues while also maintaining a distinct connection with their country of origin. “I was born in the south of Mesopotamia,” says Ali Jabbar. “The architectural style of the houses from this region are the biggest influence on my soul and my art. The hut is the form which takes the strongest presence in my work.” Based in London, the artist’s architectural sculptures are also influenced by major monuments throughout the globe such as the Samara Minaret, the Giza Pyramid, Eiffel Tower, London Bridge, and Burj Khalifa. Jabbar effectively merges the past influences from Iraq with contemporary forms of modern-day edifices and other world landmarks.
“I am concerned with ongoing and unresolved issues, specifically those that relate to violence – the kinds which are generated through corrupt, political agendas of society’s leaders,” says Halim Al-Karim. Works such as Witness from Baghdad (2011) reveal a spell-bounding portrayal of human existence on the edge.
Art in Iraq Today at Meem Gallery
Umm Suqeim Road- Al Quoz
04 347 7883