“Readings,” by Fatima El Hajj

Lebanese painter Fatima El Hajj presented her work entitled “Readings at Albareh Art Gallery in Bahrain last nigh, April 9th. Readings payed homage to the “book,” and the act of reading. Reem El Hajj also gave a talk on contemporary art and it’s repercussions in Europe today at 7pm at the Gallery in Adliya, Bahrain.

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The book and the act of reading is what inspires Fatima’s painted meditations, through colorful interstices staged in the familiar textures of the gardens she has admired: Her family estate in Wardanieh, the beautiful garden of roses in Rmaileh and the paintings of the Impressionist masters. she receives inspiration from the illustrations of Yahya Ibn Mahmood al-Wasiti for a thirteenth-century collection of stories written by the poet Abu al-Qasim Muhammad bin Ali Al-Hariri.

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Her palette of strong red, yellow and blue navigates through the canvas with the intimacy of a reader, carefully tiptoeing around the most difficult passages with the curiosity of a child, leafing through ages of the world, lifetimes, situations and emotions at the ease of a soft breeze.

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The exhibition is a friendly warning against a bookless society in which the joy of conversation and friendship is replaced by the rapid and the fleeting, distorting the memory and displacing us from our own lives.

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Exhibited internationally since 1985, El Hajj deploys the use of modern elaborate techniques alongside motifs from the world of nature, intellectual landscapes and spiritual meditations.Gardens and nature occupy a prominent place in her work.

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About Fatima El Hajj

Fatima El Hajj was born in Wardanieh, Lebanon, in 1953. She is a graduate from the Institute of Fine Arts at the Lebanese University where she received art training in Leningrad and Paris. At present, she is a professor of art at the Institute of Fine Arts in Lebanon. Since her first solo exhibition at the Spanish Cultural Center in Beirut, 1985, her work has been showcased extensively throughout the world and is part of several important public and private collections.

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Several works of the artist have been sold at important auctions, including “La Lecture”, sold at Christie’s Dubai Modern & Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art in 2011, and that can be seen as a prelude to the current exhibition, “Readings”. She received the International Picasso Award in 1984 and is a recipient of the first prize for the 2007 Emmar International Art Symposium, Dubai.

 

The exhibition will last until the 30th of April,2013, at Albareh Art Gallery, Adliya, Kingdom of Bahrain.

WORDS: BADRIYA AL-MAHMEED

Images courtesy of Albareh Art Gallery