Andalousie by Mohammed Omar Khalil
Opens at Albareh Art Gallery
Exhibition Dates: 24 April – 10 May 2018
Opening Reception: Tuesday, 24 April 2018, 7 – 9 p.m.
Albareh Art Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Andalousie, a solo exhibition by Sudanese-born Mohammed Omar Khalil, one of the Arab world’s leading artists. The opening reception will take place at the Albareh Art Gallery in Adliya on Tuesday, April 24, 2018, from 7 to 9 p.m.
Andalousie is made up of twelve mixed media works on canvas in a style that is unmistakably Mohammed Omar Khalil’s. The colours are bright, the textures busy, and the collaged photos, at times smothered in paint, break through the abstraction with codes for the viewer to decipher.
As the name of suggest, Andalousie is inspired by the Spanish region of the same name. An interest in the Islamic history of Spain is one shared by many Arabs, and Omar Khalil is no exception. In 2009, Omar Khalil accepted an invitation from Libyan art collector Adbulmagid Breish to travel with him to Andalousie along with fellow artists Dia Azzawi and Ibrahim El Salahi. The objective was to explore the region and to immerse themselves in the culture as inspiration for producing art.
Omar Khalil was deeply impacted and after the trip, spent an intense four months in his studio producing the twelve paintings. When asked about the concept, Omar Khalil responds that he did not dwell on theoretical trappings but was rather more anxious to capture the spirit of the place that he had carried home with him before it became folded into memory. The result is a body of work that captures what remains in Spain today of the soul of the old Al Andalus, be it architectural, culinary or musical.
Also exhibited at Albareh will be works from some of Omar Khalil’s previous collections, most notably Suakin.
Mohammed Omar Khalil was born in Khartoum, Sudan, in 1936 and has lived and worked in New York City since 1967. Profoundly influenced by his travels throughout the Middle East – in particular Morocco and Sudan – and the art history of Europe that he became immersed in during his studies in Italy, Omer Khalil has brought to life a pioneering form of art, in which elements and patterns from tradition merge with pop art and fine prints.
Mohammed Omar Khalil studied at the School of Fine and Applied Art in Khartoum, Sudan and then pursued graduate studies in fresco painting and print-making in Florence, Italy, as well as a diploma in mosaics from the Academy of Fine Arts, Ravenna. He has since lived in the US and until recently, taught at the Parsons School of Design. His work has been exhibited in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and North America and is collected worldwide by the Bibliotheque National de France, the Bronx Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, Grenoble Institut du Monde Arabe, the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, the Library of Congress, Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, Museum of History in Taipei, the museums of art of Baghdad, Cairo and Osaka, the Smithsonian Institute, American Express, Con Edison, the MacArthur Foundation and others. He is also the recipient of numerous awards and grants.
Andalousie continues at Albareh Art Gallery until Thursday, May 10, 2018.