Marwan Nassar is one of the best of my former students who I foresee being successful in their artistic careers and who are contributing new blood to the Palestinian visual art movement. Marwan understands this responsibility and undertakes his work while keeping a close eye, at the same time, on both the national and international heritage.
Being a contemporary pioneer and talented artist in the 21st century is a harder task than ever. A vast international artistic experiment lies before every artist, whether young or old, including the many regional art schools as well as the great development in the cultural centres dating back to the 19th century until today, when many forms of art and trends were initiated which still make their mark. It is not good enough to just recreate this or that type of art; nevertheless, what is presented now is not at all new. Thanks to technology, contemporary artists can be connected on a daily basis with all works of art around the world. What is required now from the artist is neither to narrate nor to interpret this school or another one, for there are many technical and visual works of art capable of doing this in a completely articulate and convincing manner, although the barriers that separate them are shifting.
The tasks required of the Palestinian artist are not easy ones. They vary from researching the aesthetic in accordance with the values and concepts of international culture and modern philosophy, to participating in giving expression to the intellectual, political, social and national concepts as a form of political struggle, especially in this crucial historical moment for the Palestinians. The Palestinian artist also has to make difficult compromises and present what suits the public taste, and that of local art patrons.
Around 30 paintings of this young artist are on display in this exhibition; they vary in size and are the outcome of his most recent artistic experimentation over the period from late 2015 and the beginning of 2016. They represent his intellectual and innovative artistic development in the active and significant research he has been pursuing since his graduation. Marwan has engaged with many works; works that have an outermost realism as well as personal insight, with different scenes, portraits and popular motifs. His works are characterized by the boldness of their drawing and painting, the harmony between light and dark colours, and between space and line. He has a technical flexibility, a great talent that has allowed him to produce this first exhibition of his work.
Nassar's current experimentation reflects his understanding of global artistic trends, where no artist subscribes to one specific school. The main area he is currently working within is not burdened with literal ideas or with direct recording. On the contrary, he engages with a freer form of art, using both two and three dimensions and motivated by the emotional energy of the concept that comes from the work; a concept the artist senses but cannot fully grasp in its entirety. The psychological condition in Nassar's works, whether the result of inner or external motivation, recreates his paintings. When someone is deeply integrated with other elements, their forceful presence is always there, leading to the creation of an understanding of the work and enhancing it with a national or a humanistic sense.
Although still a very young artist, Marwan Nassar has been able in his work, with its strong colours, solid creation and its modernity, to manifest a significant step in his career and a new beginning, which will, in my opinion, go on to achieve a maturity and a great and unique absorption in painting and artistic creation.
Dr. Shafiq Radwan