until 14.10. | #4044ARTatBerlin | Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery Berlin shows from 20th September 2023 (Opening: 19.09.) the exhibition “Postcards from Paradise” with works by the artist Nazir Tanbouli.
The title “Postcards from Paradise” is significant: the images are a window into a tender, radiant world of timeless tranquillity, but as “postcards” they imply that we too can visit it. These writings depict a heavenly paradise – but it is not a theocratic heaven of condemnation or reward. It is a place of tranquillity, free from strife, battle and fear.
It is a garden where humans and animals come together to enjoy each other. Tanbouli exposes the folly of human supremacy and exposes it as a fabrication that rejects the concept of the “wild” and the hierarchy of species. Tanbouli’s work includes traditionally therianthropic figures – mixed creatures of man and beast – such as the centaur and the minotaur, but also creatures of his own invention. These forms reject the ancient Greek concept of human superiority in favour of the Egyptian method of combining man and animal to create gods. The animal (or material) nature of the god is seen as equal to his human (or intellectual) nature.
The work “The Flirting Minotaur” is crucial to this story. Tanbouli presents a sensual, masculine monster who is welcomed by woman as an equal, rather than the fearsome, devouring creature of myth or even the tragedy of George Frederick Watt’s lonely Minotaur. This Minotaur is strong and friendly, attractive and effortlessly carries both his human and animal nature.
Warm and rich colours give paradise an autumnal feel in “Golden Couple with a Dog”, “Dream Catcher”, “Black Gazal” and “Utopia”, with the warmth of summer sunsets giving way to the freshness of autumn. The paintings of the archetypal couple with various animals (cat, dog, ox, etc.) have a cooler colour palette. They are influenced by grisaille, a method of creating an image in shades of grey to build up layers of shadows, highlights and contrasts before adding colour in transparent glazes. Tanbouli’s cooler tones evoke the clear light of morning or moonrise.
Ultimately, all these paintings are about love, love as a desire for unity. Plants, people and animals are all connected. Paradise is a place of infinite joy at all times and in all seasons.
Vernissage: Tuesday, 19th September 2023, 6:30 bis 8:30 Uhr with cello violin concert at 7:30 pm
Exhibition period: Wednesday, 20th September to Saturday, 14. October 2023
Image caption: Nazir Tanbouli, Utopia, 2023, Acrylic on canvas, 100 x 120 cm
Exhibition Nazir Tanbouli – Kristin Hjellegjerde Berlin | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Exhibitions Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin