exhibition views Galerie Sfeir-Semler, Beirut







BEIRUT - Sfeir-Semler Gallery is delighted to announce a new exhibition of works by PHILIP TAAFFE, CHRISTINE STREULI and TIMO NASSERI at our Beirut space. An opening with the artists will be held on July 22 from 7pm to 9pm.

The work of these 3 artists converges around the meanings and possibilities of patterns, shapes and surfaces. With dynamic, vibrant painting, drawing and sculpture, these artists each investigate the construction of pattern as it vacillates between the intuitive, mathematical, meditative and sublime.

The New York-based artist PHILIP TAAFFE (American, born 1957) has imagined various vocabularies of abstraction and the symbolic nature of patterns since he began showing internationally in the early 1980s. With a number of works on linen, Taaffe organizes intense colors into geometrically based compositions that suggest the cosmic and mystical within the material, factual and rational. His works on paper make use of the technique of marbling to create animated waves and droplets of color. First preparing an undulating pattern in pool of saturated colors, the artist then places the paper directly on the surface of this swirling liquid to capture one instant of the composition as it shifts in time. A traditional decorative design technique, Taaffe’s marbling reveals a moment, a single possibility within the continuous evolution of time. Pulsing forms of color envelope one another and seem to pull apart or fuse together, suggesting biological or cellular structures. And like biology, Taaffe’s work exposes the beauty of chance and accidents that arise within a given structure, the facts of reality as well as its mysteries.

This world-renowned artist has shown in major exhibitions including 3 Whitney Biennials, the Carnegie International, at Vienna Succession, and in premier international galleries. His work is in the collections of the MoMA in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Reina Sofia in Madrid, among many others.

Brimming with optical energy, the paintings of CHRISTINE STREULI (Swiss, born 1975) bring together a kaleidoscopic interaction of marks and pattern in overlapping layers that seem to relate through one another to create overlapping meanings. Streuli engages a wide spectrum forms - geometric, figurative, painterly, graphic, textural - which build upon one another in additive compositions that vibrate with color and pattern. Using hand-printing, stencil and stamps, Streuli develops motifs that repeat, reflect and evolve within a single work. By pairing technologies of reproduction with various types of hand-made marks, her paintings reveal the organic variables that occur in the process of making a pattern. Her works often exceeds the dimensions of her canvases, extending onto the floor and walls of the gallery to create full environments of pattern. Streuli lives and works in Berlin, and has shown internationally in exhibitions across Europe, the US, and the Middle East. In 2007 she represented Switzerland at the Venice Biennial.

With his ongoing inquiry into ancient Arabic mathematics and their expression in architecture and design, TIMO NASSERI (German-Iranian, born 1972) will present highly complex sculptures and drawings that articulate the transcendent aesthetics derived from arithmetic formulas. His polished stainless steel sculptures assembled from intricate configurations of triangles create mirrored forms that refract infinite reflections. With wall sculptures that recall Muqarnas, Nasseri’s work becomes a part of the architecture, literally receding into the wall or out from the wall with their multi-sided reflections playing off their surroundings. Like a fallen star or a metallic cut diamond, his freestanding sculptures bounce the viewer’s reflection into countless pieces as he or she moves around them. Made with incredible precision and meditative concentration, Nasseri’s hand-drawings in white ink on black paper demonstrate the ancient mathematics that he repeats and expands to create his infinite geometries. These configurations of triangles and circles arrive at a cosmic ornamental pattern evoking the night sky, mystical architecture and the history of scientific curiosity.

For more information please contact Peter Currie or Katia Boueri at beirut@sfeir-semler.com