Almine Rech Gallery
4 Sep → 3 Oct 2020
From Tuesday to Saturday 11 am to 7 pm. Closed Sunday and Monday.
During her first exhibition at the Almine Rech gallery, Farah Atassi got us used to geometric forms mixed with fantastic figurative scenes. This time, we find these forms in still lifes and stylized portraits: female silhouettes, musical instruments, everyday objects and circus props unfold against a brightly colored geometric background. If this has all the hallmarks of a classical still life, Farah Atassi refuses to bend to the conventions of the academic genres of portraiture and still life. In the history of art, the portrait is, in the hierarchy of painting genres, the most elaborate. The still life portrait is the most neglected. By opposing the two genres, she affirms her desire to go against the classical pictorial conventions. It also reinforces her idea that no one element is more important than another in a composition. Thus, Farah Atassi treats the background and the main subject of her works in the same way. As a result, everything seems to be on the same plane. In reality, the artist relies on a grid to organize his compositions where the place of colors and forms is carefully chosen. This grid is also used to represent space in three dimensions. As for the characters, they are reduced to simple associations of shapes; the very pure objects do not seem to belong to the real world. Figures and objects merge on three-dimensional space. Finally, the surface of the canvases can be seen through the layers of oil paint. Farah Atassi loses us, between classical painting and total abstraction. For her, they are "figurative paintings that represent abstraction".