Reviews in Brief, Dubai

Sohrab Sepehri
Leila Heller Gallery

Sepehri holds the distinction of being one of Iran’s leading modernist artists as well as modernist poets. He was educated in lithography in Paris, calligraphy in Japan, and Buddhism in India, and these influences, along with Zen, Taoist, and mystic principles, as well as midcentury Western- style abstract expression and modernism, are visible in this collection of paintings, rarely seen since his death in 1980. The abstract landscapes here, which focus on one of his favorite painterly subjects—tree trunks, noble and enduring, even in a rapidly modernizing world—mingle with spare, brisk color blocking.

Larissa Sansour
Lawrie Shabibi

A new film by Sansour introduces us to the living (and dying) history of a semi-science- fictional middle eastern territory, some version of the West Bank. The narrator’s strategy for future retribution is burying fragments of porcelain, printed with the traditional Palestinian kaffiyeh pattern, in the war-zone earth after manipulating their carbon dating. future generations of Palestinians will be able to use them as evidence that the land had originally belonged to them. accompanied by historical photographs of occupation and an allegorical assembly line from a porcelain factory, the film manifests a thinly veiled fiction.

“but even if I cannot see the sun”
Grey Noise

This taut exhibition begins with a poem by Marco Godinho, “Still a Blind light in an endless night.” The show explores gradations of color’s absence. Inferring the
darkness of an uncertain future, the ghostly ambience surfaces in charbel-joseph H. Boutros’s No Light in White Light / Night Cartography, an ephemeral mass of charcoal spray paint on cool, white paper; lala rukh’s Nightscape I: a, b, c, d, e, paper saturated with raven graphite; and the clinical feel of michael john Whelan’s sound piece Chamber. all hope is not lost, but held in “red flowers, a new red flower every day.”

Modern Painters, April 16

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