Updates from A.i.R Dubai 2014

From the series Sparse No Filter - Nadia Ayari

Before arriving in Dubai, Nadia Ayari had decided to work with fresco, a medium that she met in 2006 at Skowhegan in Maine, USA. Nadia’s plaster on burlap series, Sparse No Filter, brings new life to the medium of fresco, which for many may be a practice frozen in time. Contrary to her earlier densely composed and large-scale paintings, the size and compositional simplicity in the new fresco add a sculptural quality to Nadia’s work. The nature of the material she works with, requires her to finish the fresco a few hours after she starts. While this has an impact on the intimate size of Nadia’s fresco, the performative aspect of making them exhilarates the artist.

The characters in her new series, such as fig and tree, might remind many of the figures in Nadia’s oil on canvas paintings, The Fountain and The Fig. However, in her new body of work, Nadia leaves the anthropomorphic figures like eye and tongue behind, and considers fig and tree as ‘spaces,’ inviting the viewer into the depths of a ‘conceptual narrative’. The fig appears and disappears in the series, while leaves and tree branches remain constant, perhaps creating a tension in this surreal-natural setting and underlining politics of visibility in Nadia’s explorations with fresco. The insinuating sensuality in Sparse No Filter, on the other hand, resonates with the fragility and vulnerability of the individual works.