Wael Darwesh & Kristina Mésároš
Gallery-Museum Lendava cordially invites you to the opening of the Exhibition of Artworks by Wael DARWESH & Kristina MÉSÁROŠ on Friday, the 18th of November 2011 at 18:00 in Lendava’s Castle.
Opening ceremonies will be held by Her Excellency Ms. Heba Sidhom, the Egyptian Ambassador to Slovenia and Her Excellency dr. Marianna Oravcová, the Slovak Ambassador to Slovenia. The works will be presented by fine arts critic, Mario Berdič.
The exhibition will continue until the 3rd of January 2012.
Wael DARWESH & Kristina MÉSÁROŠ
The Egyptian artist, Wael Darwesh, is the author of a wide range of artistic genres reaching from classical paintings through original collages to provocative installations. Otherwise unburdened by tradition, but remaining conscious of their deep roots, he is always up-to-date and critical toward social situations and the ongoing changes in the modern world.
His latest painting opus represents compositions whose groups of figures allude to tectonic social shifts in both the Arab world and on a global scale. Backgrounds founded on abstract associative-, as well as on imaginary landscapes, are built up using various larger or smaller colored planes in a freely meshed composition reminiscent of patchwork. Individual irregular geometrical characters are richly structured here and there, at times decorated with dashes or dots, as if to symbolize oriental carpets, but, of course, we experience them mostly as gardens, fields, deserts, oases, cities, etc.
The abstract background network acquires its true meaning only with the emergence of organic, material human figures, which introduce a formal contrast in an otherwise more or less regular geometrical system, even though they mingle with the landscape as a functional unit.
In the main, while arranging the figures on the surface of the canvas, the artist decided upon an additive archaic composition, placing them face forward toward the observer, surprisingly originating in the European traditional isocephalic frieze, although one might have expected representations in profile, as was customary in ancient Egyptian art. Pain in deformed faces can sometimes be traced as an echo of Francis Bacon, but in general we can also find direct artistic citations in the form of collage. Here we are shocked by collective suffering, not only as a consequence of the turbulent political events in the modern Arab world, but also as it symbolizes the universal condition of ordinary people across all continents, where the only hope of salvation is apparently in the afterlife, represented by the ubiquitous gold foil. The color of gold is primarily a symbol of divinity and in Egypt also of the sun and of kingdoms, and belong collectively to the all-embracing concept of eternal life.
With a touch of surrealism in her most recent oeuvre, Slovak painter and graphics artist, Kristina Mésároš, managed to express subtly the spiritual, emotional and physical experience of the Indonesian Island of Bali, where she had lived for a long time, linking the continuous struggle for survival (Hunters and Gatherers) with a simultaneous search for higher meanings in a sojourn to other dimensions (One World Is Not Enough). Her heavily diluted acrylic paint, which includes ennumerable glazed layers and drippings, introduces the impression of a fluid watercolor and makes possible the meditative, symbolic effect of translucence and an intermingling of different forms of existence relative to man – earth – space (the other side), for it appears as though all the characters and amorphous structures were poured into a single, all-inclusive phenomenon of creation.
In addition to her narrative depth, the technical skills Kristina Mésároš employs also attract our attention. While lush tropical vegetation and starry skies instil transcendental optimism, human characters, alone or in small groups, or having come together for some special purpose (games, harvests, fishing, hunting), often appear somehow lost in time and space, occasionally even horrible, such as, for example, vomiting blood or bleeding from the eyes of children. As a rule, the contrasting red colors have a dichotomous symbolic meaning, also in terms of life and death, that, in the presence of the predominent, cold greens (flora – the eternal renewal of life), and blues with flowing violet shades (water, sky – outer space), almost prickles the observer with its glowing emergance. The white spots scattered around in the atmosphere also create a mystical effect, as if it were snowing stardust and bringing divine tranquility to troubled interpersonal relationships.
A wide range of intimate stories about people or group events are portrayed by the artist as though their objectives or intentions had not yet been fulfilled, meaning that they are all waiting impatiently for something to happen, producing a psychological tension in otherwise static compositions. Contrarily, abandoned buildings symbolize transience, thus Vanitas or Memento mori, since they are already completely dysfunctional and their fate is sealed.
Although her unforgettable Asian experience permeates the present creative phase of Kristina Mésároš, her images are committed to universal existential questions whose answers we may find in some other life, beyond time and space.
Mario Berdič, fine arts critic
(English translation: Suzanne Király-Moss)