Without Name, But, Numbers

Albareh Art Gallery
Kingdom of Bahrain
4 February –  2 
March 2018

Albareh Gallery is delighted to announce the opening of Hanaa Malallah’s Without Name, But, Numbers,’ under the patronage of H.E. Shaikh Rashid Bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Undersecretary of Passports, & Immigration Directorate.  The opening reception will start at Albareh’s Adliya gallery at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 4. 2018.

Without Name, But, Numbers presents to the Bahrain art-viewing public a retrospective comprised of over twenty works by Iraqi-born, London-based artist Hanaa Malallah, a collection that spans almost 3 decades.

Hanaa Malallah’s initial training in art was in Iraq and was a conventional one leading to a development of skills with little emphasis on concept.  Given that one of her earliest artistic influences came from Christo, she felt what she described as ‘…a tension between [her] radical understanding of art and the Iraqi educational system.’  While her early artistic production can only be defined as figurative, Malallah executed a sudden, albeit premeditated shift to abstraction early on in her career.

A member of Iraq’s ‘Eighties Generation,’ Malallah’s aesthetic was shaped under the tutelage of Shakir Hassan Al Said against a backdrop of war in 1990s Baghdad.  Al Said encouraged her to conduct an examination of the effects of time on objects.  She traversed Baghdad in search of materials that she distressed even further and incorporated into her art.  In the process, she created a ‘uniquely Iraqi aesthetic model’ that was later named the Ruins TechniqueMalallah was further influenced by her mentor’s fascination with Sufi mystical traditions related to numerology.  As she explored this, she discovered a profound simplicity in numbers which, along with her Ruins Technique created the confluence that today defines Malallah’s abstractions.

In addition to Malallah’s retrospective, Albareh Art Gallery will be hosting the artist in 2 artist talks, one in Arabic at 7 p.m. on SundayFebruary 11, and the other in English at 7 p.m. on SundayFebruary 18.

Hanaa Malallah was born in Iraq in 1958.  She studied Fine Arts in Baghdad with an emphasis on graphics and painting.  In 2005, her thesis concerning the logic order in Mesopotamian drawing earned her a PhD in the Philosophy of Painting. She has taught and lectured widely at a several faculties of the University of Fine Arts in Baghdad. At the end of 2006, she left Iraq for an artist residency at the Institute du Monde Arabe in Paris and from there followed the call of a fellowship offered by SOAS in 2008. She has been based in London since. She held a fellowship at the Chelsea College of Art in London from 2011 to 2013 and currently holds a temporary associate professorship at the Royal University for Women (RUW) in Bahrain.

Hanaa Malallah is internationally acclaimed for her material-focused practice and her philosophical/spiritual explorations into the nature of being and not being. Her work graces numerous private collections, art centres and museums, including the Centre for Modern Art, Baghdad, the Jordan National Museum Amman, The British Museum, The Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, The Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah.

Without Name, But, Numbers continues at the Albareh Gallery until March 2, 2018.