Ayyam Gallery is new to London and will show contemporary artists from the Middle East. It is launching with paintings and sculpture by Lebanese artist Nadim Karam, who has a wide-ranging practice including writing and architecture, and has made public art for many international cities.
Karam’s series of paintings Shooting the Cloud combines aspects of sketchy drawing with paint and colour. Dealing with love and war, they lightly touch deep issues. Figures float, almost Chagall-like, and play with pencilled bullets.
Art students especially should check out Karam’s paintings, as they inspire with judicious use of paint and mixed media, and are great examples of developing painting techniques around quick and spontaneous drawings. Although there is much glitter, the effect is not kitsch – the paintings manage to be serious and enjoyable at the same time.
The metallic sculptures almost seem to be by a different artist. They are smaller editions of his larger scale public works, highly manufactured and a different and more processed idea than the paintings.
The Ayyam Gallery is in the heart of London’s commercial gallery district. It’s on the first floor, and so you have to be buzzed up. The space itself has lower ceilings than the ideal, and so large work is going to look differently here. Don’t let any of this to put you off, as it is an approachable gallery and will be showing interesting and notable work.
Shooting the Cloud is at Ayyam Gallery, 1st Floor, 143 New Bond Street, London, from 24th January to 9th March 2013. For further information visit here.