Août Gallery presents its opening and online exhibit, Young Dreams. In commemoration of Beirut’s ravaged streets, particularly those of Gemmayzeh, the gallery opened its doors on March 19, adding more hope, colors, creativity and inspiration to our lives.
In these uncertain times, the perseverance and growth of the art world is very much needed. Through its Young Dreams exhibition, the Gallery will feature international contemporary artists, a sigh of optimism for the art world and a stepping-stone towards better days.
After the insufferable tragedies and crises which Beirut and its people have faced, the exhibit aims to start a dialogue between the wounded city and the rest of the world, and provide the viewers a sense of respite and a time to breathe, never forgetting what happened. Août gallery is a tribute to home and loved ones lost, while also offering its audience a moment to contemplate and dream.
The featured works have a wide range of thematic, stylistic, and conceptual concerns. They include impressionistic, ekphrastic, collage based, and even abstract works of contemporary art. In these different modes we see moments of private intimacy, social friction as well as embodiments of anthropomorphic disorientation, and the simultaneous celebration and defacement of pop iconography.
River Rocks, 2020 is an oil painting that inquiries into the animal and the human. It communicates how these forms of life inhabit their different surrounding, as well as the intersection of these two surroundings. A rounded and tactile figure sits in front of a flat, almost nominal vegetative backdrop, on a floor of stones that she shares with the fish. Natalie Wadlington captures the still, somewhat awkward moment of contact between these two worlds. “More and more, I find myself in complete wonderment at nature. This year has taught me how to live in a space of unknowing, and I now bring that perspective to all forms of looking. In nature as in life, there remain so many mysteries that are locked away in the things outside ourselves, so that all I can do is look.” (Natalie Wadlington, 2020)
Jin Han Lee (born in 1982) is a South Korean artist and researcher based in London. In her work Stuck, 2018, we see several units of the same hands spread across the canvas. One set of hands holds a pair of keys whose color changes as it moves and is touched by light different. The other set of hands twists a doorknob. This ekphrastic exercise ends up saying more about the role of time in visual representation than it does succeed at representing movement in a conventional sense.
In his works, Ronald Hall (born in Pennsylvania, US, 1967) utilizes his paintings as means of information and education, portraying the injustices that African-American people have faced, and are still facing today. His work depicts both fictional and non-fictional narratives, that “challenge the viewers interpretation of what contemporary black art is” (Ronald Hall). Shadows of Color is a painting loosely inspired by the 1863 draft riots of New York.
Isabelle McCormick (born in St. Paul, Minnesota, 1992) graduated with a BFA in Painting and a BA in Literary Arts from the Brown University Rhode Island School of Design Dual Degree Program in 2015.
The artist’s work focuses on what it is to be a woman (and an artist) in today’s “hyperbolic world of retouching apps and reality TV” (McCormick). Throughout her paintings, she tries to re-question whether today’s woman, what with the modern technological era, exercises more freedom, or is more oppressed by patriarchal patterns.
March 24, 2021
October 3, 2019