Thaier Helal: Liberated Spirituality

Thaier Helal: Liberated Spirituality

Cairo, Egypt Tuesday, January 25, 2011Saturday, April 30, 2011
untitled by thaier helal

Thaier Helal

Untitled, 2009

Price on Request

Cairo, Egypt
Tuesday, January 25, 2011Saturday, April 30, 2011

Ayyam Gallery Cairo is pleased to announce “Liberated Spatiality,” the forthcoming solo exhibition of UAE-based Syrian painter Thaier Helal. Known for large mixed media canvases that transform the tangible (and intangible) into abstractions that explore color and texture, the artist will present a new body of work that delves further into the energy, movement and rhythm of people, places, space and time.

Although Helal’s most recent canvases continue the bold experiments in depth, surface and palette of previous works, the execution through which they have been realized is noticeably freer and expressive. By creating images that are derived from both internal and external sources (i.e. individual and collective experiences), the artist seeks to fashion a way of seeing that relies on the sensations of rhythm and movement to communicate the sentiments and physicality of society and culture.

Much of the inspiration for his latest series stems from the vigor of collective action or the gathering of crowds, as it appears in political protests and marches or religious ceremonies and festivals. Departing from earlier works on a formulistic level, which were divided into grids of square compartments that functioned as nuclei of brushwork and toyed with the outcomes of repeated forms, these new canvases are arranged with lines and markings that are liberated from spatial bounds. Planes overlap and intersect dramatically while paint drips freely and various mediums are combined to add a sense of depth and dimension. Reproducing the power of these assemblies, the artist uses a bright palette with uninhibited strokes, methodically working the canvas with materials until it appears as rugged terrain.

Born in Nasiriyah, Syria in 1967, Helal immigrated to the UAE in the 1990s, where he has resided ever since. With a long exhibition history and a senior faculty position in the Sharjah Arts Institute’s Department of Culture, he has established himself as a leading figure in the contemporary Gulf art scene. In addition to being highlighted in countless solo and group exhibitions in the Middle East, he has been featured in such international events as the Scope art fair (Basel) and the Alexandria and Sharjah Biennales.

Since its founding in 2006, Ayyam Gallery has become one of the Middle East’s leading contemporary art spaces. With a selection of cutting-edge painting, sculpture and photography that represents some of the Arab world’s most exciting talent, the gallery has sought to promote the region's dynamic cultural scene at home and abroad. For more information visit