Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Abstraction and Calligraphy

Today I went up to the Louvre Abu Dhabi with my friend Kathleen, to have a look at the new temporary exhibition which opens tomorrow - "Abstraction and Calligraphy - Towards a Universal Language". I think one of my favourite exhibitions so far!
(Although it feels like I say that with every new exhibition..!)

I love how this space in the temporary exhibition  looks so different with each exhibition that is brought here. I love how they with this one used the whole height of the ceiling and put this huge installation Malraux by contemporary French-Tunisian 'calligraffiti' artist eL Seed up the top.

There are over 80 artworks in this exhibition, both from the collection of the LAD itself, and on loan from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Musée du Louvre, Centre Pompidou and many other French institutions and lenders.
The exhibition is separated into four segments and the first part is about the early pictograms. The perfect symbiosis not just between letter and image, but also between east and west - the first trials at language.


Several very well known artists make up the exhibition, like Paul Klee here above, and below A.R Penck, Keith Harding and Joaquín Torres-Garcia; just to name a few.

In the second part it is about softer forms and abstract signs; it also explores automatism and art influenced by the Eastern calligraphy.

I especially liked the outlook you got in the big room in the middle of the exhibition, with the large canvases by the likes of Lee Krasner, Jean Dubuffet, Joan Miró and André Masson. This is also where you will find this mesmerising looping video projection An Adornment of Stars by Nasser Al Salem on the wall.

I also liked these small CY Twombly artwork, reminiscent of the large artworks by him at the entrance of the museum.

The last part of the exhibition is focused around writing, here below another artist already in Ch 11 of the museum - Lee Ufan.

Did you know that the Arabic language has over 100 words to express love..? Maybe they are why I was drawn to this bronze sculpture The Words I Love the Most by Ghada Amer, where the words have been given volume. All the words are written inside out so you need to read them from within the sphere.

This beautiful exhibition explores the relationship between word and image, or abstraction and calligraphy, two visual languages which are very closely entwined. The perspective keeps changing back and forth between painting and writing and it is exactly in that shift that the universal message comes through.

It feels absolutely fantastic to have a new temporary exhibition at the museum again, another step towards more normality. Amazing.

No comments:

Post a Comment