Untitled (From the Rêve Series)
Untitled (From the Rêve Series)
signed and dated 2000
oil and pencil on canvas
121.5 by 190.5 cm. 47½ by 75 in.
framed: 139 by 208 cm. 54¾ by 81¾ in.
This work is in general good condition, paint applied thinly across canvas, upon close inspection very minor losses particular in sky and on body, as viewed.
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The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
Born in 1961 in Hama, Syria, Safwan Dahoul is known for his unique and innovative techniques of figuration, which throughout his three-decades-long career, achieved to describe the fluctuations in feelings and psyche within the Arab world. His wide-ranging influences span from Cubist to Assyrian and Pharaonic art (Samawi & Farhat 2009). By playing with a variety of styles over the years, Dahoul built a potent artistic signature, distinguishable by a melancholic and monochromatic aura. This trademark atmosphere culminated in his seminal Dream series, in which Dahoul investigated the physical and psychological manifestations of feelings of alienation, loneliness and yearning in the course of human life (Ayyam Gallery 2018).
In the present work, the female protagonist personifies the sense of prostration that takes over the body in times of mourning or separation. Her bent silhouette, empty eyes and loose hands emphasize her state of distress, while the empty yet narrow setting confers her minimised silhouette a monumental, almost overwhelming physicality. However, this claustrophobic sentiment is somewhat relieved by the pastel blues and yellows that cover the upper part of the composition, symbolizing an ethereal escape from the dark floor on which lays the heroine. By juxtaposing two contrasting sections on the painting, Dahoul attracts the viewer’s attention on the conflicting feelings possessing the woman’s mind, emphasized by her body language. Both defensive yet surrendered, the painting suggests a form of weariness slowly giving place to serenity.
Samawi & M. Farhat, Safwan Dahoul, Damascus, 2009
So close and still so far: Syria’s Safwan Dahoul – artist profile. APR 15, 2018 Ayyam Gallery, Barjeel Art Foundation, Edge Of Arabia, Kriti Bajaj, Safwan Dahoul, The Samawi Collection.