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Nizar Sabour 'Icons of Palmyra'    Nov 5 - Nov 13, 2013

Jidar Todmouri
Nizar Sabour
Jidar Todmouri, 2008
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Nizar Sabour 'Icons of Palmyra'
From November 5 - November 13, 2013

Tuesday 5th November, 2013
Opening Reception 6 - 9 PM

'This Man Sees The Angels'
Mark Hachem Gallery- Beirut Is proud to present;
'Icons of Palmyra', The artworks by renowned artist Nizar Sabour. Nizar Sabour was born in Lattakieh in 1958 and graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts of Damascus where he is now an associate professor. He was also a Candidate of Philosophy in the Sciences of Art in Moscow in 1990. His works can be found in the collections of many museums not only in the Middle East, but in Washington and Moscow as well.

'Icons of Palmyra',presents the fruit of the artist's fascination with religious icons whether Christian, Muslim, or even Pharaonic. Though the feel conveyed corresponds well to the rough energy of archaic work, this is obtained through very different means as the colours are resolutely modern and the technique more reminiscent of Dada collages than a monk's patient brushwork. Yet a striking feature of the series is the fact that the contemporary treatment does not affect the evocative power of the icon. Sabour seems to have deliberately deconstructed conventional religious imagery to isolate its characteristic elements and test their power of evocation separately. At the same time, all these traditional elements: wooden support, triptych or gate-shaped canvas, haloes, flattened perspective, verticality -- are appropriated by the artist and treated in completely non-traditional ways. Aside from the icon-related elements, is his own personality that he applies freely to the support. The haloed characters, which recur the most, are reduced to little more than literally iconic silhouettes, that out of context might be mistaken for a chess pawn but here keep all their expression as ancient and venerable. The wild exploration in colours and shapes does not interfere with our reading of the images.

The viewer is always invited to "enter" the space of the picture, so well defined by clear framing elements, and lose himself in contemplation. The traditional icon has lost none of its significance in Sabour's interpretation: it has merely embraced a new skin.

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