Mounira Al Solh's first solo exhibition opens at Zeno X Gallery

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Mounira Al Solh's first solo exhibition opens at Zeno X Gallery
Mounira Al Solh, The Sea, in Love; and the Cockroach Sings (2022).

ANTWERP.- Mounira Al Solh's first solo exhibition at the gallery, Lovers, Nahawand and Saba, contains new paintings, works on paper and a film.

The exhibition evokes images of Beirut’s rich music scene: it flourished in the 1950s and 1960s and then bloomed again after the Lebanese Civil War (1975–90). The paintings conjure up the elated atmosphere that prevailed in the numerous concert halls and cafés, but also refer to the rich film industry from Egypt, Syria and Morocco, in which singers often featured in leading roles. Al Solh’s exuberant use of colour is reminiscent of the flamboyant, occasionally kitschy sets of Middle Eastern TV shows and concerts. Famous musicians from the Arab world such as Umm Kulthum, Fairuz, Sabah and Samira Tawfik as well as Sabah Fakhri are shown without being literally portrayed; rather, the paintings call up the charisma or aura of the performers and refer to the content of their most famous songs. The Arabic words and phrases in Al Solh’s paintings are sonic elements which, like the many other visual elements, evoke several associations and lend rhythm to the compositions. The words can often also be read as voices rising up against injustice.

Mounira Al Solh (b. 1978) lives and works in the Netherlands and Lebanon. In 2017 she participated in documenta 14 in Kassel and Athens. In 2022 she had solo exhibitions at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead and Felix Nussbaum Haus in Osnabrück. Other solo exhibitions took place at Mori Art Museum in Tokyo (2020), Musée National Pablo Picasso in Vallauris (2020), The Art Institute of Chicago (2018), Mathaf in Doha (2018), Alt Art Space in Istanbul (2016), KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin (2014), Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow (2013), Art in General in New York (2012) and Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (2011).

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