Among Forms and Bodies
December 06, 2017
Gary Nader is pleased to present Among Forms and Bodies a selection of artworks by Soraya Abu Nabaa, who works across painting, drawing, and installation. The exhibition presents her affinities with figuration and abstraction through different medias, as drawing on canvas, three-dimensional paper drawings and oil on linen, thus challenging the possibilities of drawing and painting. The themes encompass time, space, cartography and identity.
As her own identity has been forged from living in several cities, her work also mirrors the amalgamation of imageries she has encountered therein and the recurring motifs found in her work render a hymn of similarities between cultures, people and places.
Her suggestions are wide-ranging; distant topography - Arabic calligraphy, the Nazar amulet, Dominican craft, and even carnival costumes and masks with surrealistic undertones. She works in layers and suggestions, hiding and revealing, reflecting a sense of uncertainty. She renders her marks with fluidity as if they can escape the canvas, as she activates even the sides of her paintings thus allowing the viewer to believe that the work can continue beyond the borders the images are contained in. This openness is reinforced by the organic forms that inhabit the works.
This ensemble aims to reveal many of her interests from her practice, inviting the viewer to examine at once different stages of her process. The works are characterized by an exquisite play of form and color, nevertheless bound to a sometimes-critical view of her surroundings which serves as a voice for her concerns.
Soraya Abu Naba’a was born in Melbourne, Florida in 1985 to a Palestinian father and a Dominican mother of Lebanese origins. Early on, she traveled often with her family to the Middle East especially Jordan. She spent her first years of life in the United States moving at an early age to the Dominican Republic where she lived continuously until her 18th birthday, soon after moving to Paris, where she spent almost four years, studying French and French Philosophy in the Sorbonne and earning a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts. During this period, she also traveled within Europe and the Middle East. After her studies, she moved back to the Americas and worked mainly between Miami and Santo Domingo, though she spent time in Florence, Amman and New York. Currently, she is living in London, forming part of the MA in the Painting Programme at the Royal College of Art until 2018.