Mark Hachem Gallery - Beirut is delighted to present “Of Things to Come”, a solo exhibition by artist Nazar Yahya, featuring a selection of his most recent works.
The exhibition is a retrospective of our childhood with its figures and heroic icons; it is also a prediction of our future, an inevitable end to life.
“I have read about scientific studies that talk about the end of planet earth. Perhaps it would happen thousands of years from now, or who knows when…Scientists are basing their studies and research about the shape, size and speed of a mass object, a meteor that would collide with our planet and end life as we know it”.
When discussing this subject with people, Nazar always thought he seemed a bit crazy or psychotic to them. Shortly after, they come to the realization that this is actually already happening but within a smaller scale on earth, and they no longer ponder on what it really means to get to the end.
To him, it was something to reflect on with admiration and joy: the end of suffering of the few and the beginning of a unified suffering; no greater country to pity a smaller country and no higher class to look down on a lower class. It was something that the entire universe had in common for once; a seize to life within seconds.
To reflect on this subject in a brighter sense, Nazar attempted to create an ambiance of beauty, using colors and shapes, and in order not to drift away from what a meteor actually looked like, he studied the ‘shooting star’ and all the discoveries that have been made around it. The meteor emits light as it is colliding with air molecules as it reaches earth, which in turn creates bright rainbow-like colors and that is quite evident in Yahya’s depiction of these objects. No dark plain colors to depict the morbid end.
However, to Nazar, the study of a new concept in art has always been more important to him than showing one’s capability of realism or expressionist painting. He focuses on the idea that he wants to deliver and on creating an indirect conversation with the viewer, food for thought.
Born in Baghdad in 1963, Nazar Yahya first started working as an illustrator for a children’s magazine in the early1980’s while still in high school. He later graduated from the Painting department at the Academy of Fine Arts in 1987 in Baghdad.
In 2008, Nazar moved to Houston, Texas with his family. Since the early 90’s, his work has been exhibited extensively around the world with over 10 solo exhibitions and 30 collective shows in Kuwait, Bahrain, Amman, Dubai, Beirut, Qatar, London, Norway, and the United States.
Yahya’s work was featured in ‘Art in Iraq Today’, a book published by Skira and Meem Editions and has been notably collected by the British Museum in London, the Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha - Qatar and the Station Museum in Houston -Texas