- Fatima El Hajj | "Readings"
From 9/04/2013 to 30/04/2013
- Albareh Art Gallery presents “Readings”, a solo exhibition by Lebanese painter Fatima El Hajj
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.
The book opens as a timeless familiar space, filled with presences from other times that we must discover by ourselves: Reading memories from the past as if they never happened before, as if nobody had ever read them before.
The painter is inviting us to take a pause from the intoxicating business to living, to find comfort and solace in the timelessness of knowledge, but her paintings are not depicting the enigmas of the written word; rather, she is showing us the traces, the fleeting presences, the contours of the light.
While reading, we are not only leafing through imagined landscapes, but also opening the vessels of the soul and being transported to worlds of serenity. The work of the artist is carpeted with delicate shadows that never remain suspended; they are flooded with natural light and sound.
In this homage to the book – the postal system of human culture. The exhibition is a friendly warning against a book-less 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.
Contemplation is in her paintings a privilege: The ability to become absorbed in ourselves and in each other, in order to begin to live the present moment. The painter becomes a mediator between the image and the word, allowing us to travel through the world as if it were an open book.