Works by Annie Kurkdjian
Albareh Art Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Enchained Dyads, a solo exhibition of the latest works of award-winning Lebanese artist Annie Kurkdjian. The opening reception will be held at Albareh's Adliya premises at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 8, 2018. The exhibition is a part of Bahrain's annual Spring of Culture.
Annie Kurkdjian's art has never been apologetic. In her artist statement, Kurkdjian points out that art has ‘a very powerful protective role… it can sublimate war, crimes, illnesses. It transforms them to beauty.’ True to her word, Kurkdjian often paints dark subjects – pain, loss, loneliness - with characters set against bleak monochromatic backgrounds. Yet she still manages to imbue the works with a certain inexplicable whimsy – inexplicable because there's nothing whimsical about the topics she chooses to paint.
For this particular body of work, Kurkdjian identifies two main themes that are central to the human condition: death, which gave rise to religion; and life, as represented by reproduction, which gave rise to eroticism. The misuse of the latter, either through commercialization or for the abuse of a partner, usually the woman, is the subject of her Enchained Dyads. The title implies an ambivalent coupling; the images underscore this ambivalence. Her characters either engage the viewer in a curious gaze, as if momentarily distracted from the task at hand, or fail to see the viewer altogether. Either way, they are not totally present in the moment, hence 'enchained.'
Annie Kurkdjian was born in Lebanon in 1972 and continues to live and work in Beirut. Deeply affected by the Lebanese Civil War as a child, Kurkdjian's paintings reveal the profound depth of this experience and its impact on her. She acknowledges her art as a form of self-therapy and describes her work as 'existential' paintings in which she explores people and their relationships with each other and the spaces they inhabit.
Kurkdjian holds a degree in fine arts from the Lebanese University and degrees in psychology and theology from the Lebanese University and St. Joseph's University, respectively. She is the recipient of the Ville de Fontenay-sous-Bois Award (2014), the Jouhayna Badour Prize (2012), and Atelier-Z's First Prize in Figurative Painting (2011) and the Special Mention of the Jury at Sursock Salon, Beirut (2010). Her work has been exhibited in Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Austria, France, Italy, Spain, the UK and the USA, and is in the collections of the Musee de Tesse, Le Mans, France, Balamand University, Lebanon and the Fontenay-sois-Bois Town Hall in France, as well as numerous private collections.
Enchained Dyads continues at Albareh Art Gallery until Sunday, April 22nd, 2018.