By Nora Heidorn
In a fresh combination of nine international andlocal artists,at “A Shout out from my City 2” everyone is bound tofind a favourite.
The works by French, American, Jordanian,Venezuelan, German andSpanish artists differ in style and subject, butthe artists selected by thegallery reveal common themes or technicalapproaches. The exhibition generallystrikes a good balance betweencommon grounds and varied artist, but the pop-artinspired portraits byDutch Monique Van Steen are slightly disconnected from theother worksthrough their hanging and visual appearance. And while allotherartists show a whole body of works, French Stephane Moscatoseemsunderrepresented with his single piece.
The exhibition title introduces one of its majorthemes: the city.The local artist and architect Rawan Kakishreprocesses Amman’s urban cityscape.On large steel planks of a rustybrown colour that hint at Jordan’s warm, dustyearth, she creates apanorama view of downtown houses using photographs,newspaper cut-outsand mosaic patterns, combined with interventions in paint. Inhercollage, she distorts perspective in order to convey the lively,crowded andchaotic atmosphere of the area.
With her keen architectural eye, she cleverlycombines theindustrial material - steel - with scraps gathered fromeveryday life,highlighting the charm of the run-down buildings of oldAmman.
German Markus Haub’s works also recreate the cityarchitectureand flair. Haub digitally and manually manipulates hisphotographs of Europeancities such as
Photographs also form the basis of Jordanian HaniHourani’sworks. A wide canvas shows a picket fence with reliefs ofglossy black paint.Hourani concentrates on the material texture ofwood: its fibre’s organicpatterns and the bark’s rough feel. In hisminiatures, the patterns become moreabstract and the composition isdominated by bright graphic lines of red andgreen.
French artist Viviane Michel moves betweenrepresentation andabstraction. She records her daily life in verses ofsquiggly handwriting on hermixed-media canvases. Colours and flowersswirl with the words, the poetry anddreaminess contained only bysmaller rectangular frames within the picture.
Michel has her loose, gestural handwriting in commonwith ItalianAlbert Coma. In his life drawing executed with blackcharcoal on natural linencanvases or ink on beige paper, he sketchesthe nude human figure. With greatknowledge of the power of elegant,free-flowing lines, he manages to capture hismodels in variouspostures and movements.
American artist Matt Sesow and Venezuelan Ierene Bouuse archaicfigures and aggressive colours in an innocent, almostchildlike portrayal ofviolence. Sesow’s simplified little monsters,children and animals have somesimilarity to voodoo figures; they boastsharp teeth and bulging eyes. Bou’shuman figures speak of pain andendured violence. The bright colours and naïvestyle create theimpression of a child’s nightmares; a crying Jesus’ head iscrownedwith thick thorns and dripping paint, alluding to his blood and tears.
There is still more to be discovered of the city, the humanfigure, dreams, violence and poetry in this collective exhibition.
The artworks will be on display until May 1.
8 April 2011