• Beladee - Athier
  • You Me & Dark Matter - Athier
  • Loving Flying and Describes The Ten - Athier
  • Stop That Fish - Athier
  • Toast Butter Jam - Athier
  • Mercedez Benz - Athier
  • Cats & Dogs - Athier
  • 400-Years - Athier
  • Classic Reebok - Athier
  • Wow Meem Noon - Athier
  • Beautiful Rubble - Athier


December 9th 2010 to January 13th 2011

Cuadro Fine Art Gallery explores the use of Arabic script in contemporary art in a group show that brings together Emirati artist Kholoud Sharafi and Iraqi artist Athier.  Both employ the Arabic script to create their own unique artistic style.

The use of the written word is a recurring stylistic element often evident in Arab art. Its most direct manifestation is in traditional Arabic calligraphy, yet it is also often present in contemporary Arab art. Arabic is a highly connotative language wherein a word carries deep meanings and communicates concepts far deeper than the simple denotation of the word itself.  Language is paramount in the Arab identity; by definition, an Arab is someone that speaks the Arabic language.  Kalimat, or Words brings together two young Arab artists that have abstracted the written word and embedded it into their oeuvre.

As a British Iraqi, Athier was born and raised in the UK.  Kalimat will be the first time his works are exhibited in the Middle East.  His distinctive graphic vernacular employs an innovative interplay of geometric Islamic shapes and Arabic calligraphy. The presence of words is not immediately apparent; only once the viewer has experienced the work as a whole does the eye begin to discern details and individual elements.  The artworks introduce an interactive playfulness to calligraphy, inviting the viewer to dissect the features that weave into his intricate compositions.  Athier juxtaposes the traditional with the groundbreaking and in the process challenges the artistic importance of both.

Following the success of her “Oum Kulthoum” series exhibited at Cuadro in March 2009, Kholoud Sharafi continues her study of the icons of modern Arab culture. Arab singers of the past repeated the same phrases or words across various songs. Kholoud repeats these iconic statements both literally and in abstracted form to convey the instantly recognizable spirit of legends such as Abdelhaleem and Fareed Al Atrash without using their physical image. The works in this second series are cased in reproductions of 1950's and 60's televisions, reflecting the spirit of the era. Kholoud's work raises the question of whether television was a conduit for popularizing these icons to achieve their legendary status, or whether the icons were a conduit for popularizing television as a medium of communication for the Arab world.

Kalimat is a homage to the Arabic language by a new generation of Arab artists that look back on traditional forms of artistic expression and present new ways of employing the medium of writing in contemporary Arab art.