Ayyam Gallery Beirut is pleased to announce “Masks, Kings and Other Things Revisited”, the solo exhibition of Palestinian painter Oussama Diab. Featuring a rousing collection of work, this upcoming show will highlight the rising artist as he offers new takes on his accomplished painting style. Recently represented at Art Dubai and the first-ever MENSART Fair in Lebanon, Diab has received noteworthy reviews in Timeout Dubai, The National and Forward Magazine over the past year, further establishing his profile as one of the region’s most exciting new talents.
Diab’s latest canvases continue earlier explorations in which objects and figures become affecting signifiers and the personal mixes with the political, delving deeper into the imaginary as he explores the duality of mankind in the modern world.
Double-headed figures indicate the duplicity of a tormented soul in the mixed media on canvas work “Exit” (2010), while in similar compositions this binary existence marks the push and pull of the individual in society (or in this case amidst our current state of global political affairs) such as in “War and Peace” (2010). With introspection, Diab also explores the paradoxical trials of love, when separate paths merge into one and the individual self is identified in the other via “In the Park” (2010).
The palette of this series is comparably brighter than in earlier works, with solid backgrounds accentuating his twisted figures, yet the mood of these canvases is noticeably dimmer. Gone is the whimsy that once presented a sense of vivid optimism. As existentialist explorations take center stage, Diab enters darker territory.
Graduating from the Faculty of Fines Arts in Damascus in 2002, Oussama Diab has been featured in solo and group exhibitions throughout the region, has had a number of successful auction sales and has been honored for his work with several awards from a number of local competitions. Admired for a painting style that is distinguished by quick and spontaneous markings that appear with an overwhelming urgency, his subjects frequently exist in a nondescript setting, a technique that creates a brand of universality with profound insights.
Since its founding in 2006, Ayyam Gallery has become one of the Arab world's leading art spaces. With a selection of cutting-edge painting, sculpture and photography that represents some of the Middle East's most exciting talent, the gallery has sought to promote the region's dynamic cultural scene at home and abroad. For more information visit www.ayyamgallery.com