Marlborough is pleased to announce Ahmed Alsoudani’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. The show brings together a new body of work executed in acrylic, charcoal and pencil-on-canvas, which presents surreal and often discomforting scenes, accentuated by chaos.
Marking a departure from previous series, the works on view are noticeably cooler in tone. Whereas earlier works reveal his grim subject matter in discordantly bright colors, here Alsoudani no longer subverts the bleakness of his inspiration. His expressionistic mark-making in colored pencil - a prominent feature of the paintings on display - detail the artist’s hand across his canvases and lend an intimate impression.
In many works, Alsoudani conceals or reveals specific areas of the picture plane, restricting the viewer’s ability to fully comprehend the forms of individual elements. In Pit (2016), the artist presents colorful abstractions – unidentifiable figures, perhaps dismembered bodies or mutilated creatures – intercepted by black snake-like forms and an ominous black void. In X-ray (2016) geometric shapes appear trapped between the distorted imagery. At the bottom of the canvas a colored square imposes a filter across the scene, searching to distill meaning from inside the disarray.
Paint drips and blots are a recurring motif of many of the works on view. Intercepting the composition with this painterly mark-making, Alsoudani adds further complication to his disordered scenes, while highlighting the role of the human hand in the creation of violence. In Doorway (2017), the looming presence of an individual is referenced by a doorframe – though the shape is barely perceptible among the explosion of forms that burst through it.
Ahmed Alsoudani (b. 1975 in Baghdad, Iraq) lives and works in New York City. A solo exhibition titled “Ahmed Alsoudani: Redacted,” was presented in 2013 at the Phoenix Art Museum and the Portland Museum of Art. His work was featured in the Iraq Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011 and at the 2007 Gwangju Biennale. His work will also be featured in the forthcoming exhibition, Chaos and Awe: Painting for the 21st Century, at the First Center for the Visual Arts and the Chrysler Museum of Art in 2018-9. A monograph of his work was published in 2009 by Hatje Cantz Verlag. He is included in several collections across the world including the Pinault Foundation, Paris, Wadsworth Atheneum, Phoenix Art Museum, Portland Art Museum, Crystal Bridges Museum of Art, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.