Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Art Appreciation

It has been too long since we've taken the time to visit an art exhibition; thanks to the interest of an artist friend some of us visited the new Lines Gallery (summer 2006) near First Circle to catch the Mohanna Durra exhibit before it ends this week. We went to the exhibit not knowing much about Mohanna Durra other than he is a well known Jordanian artist and he had painted some beautiful watercolor paintings. His exhibit was, in fact, an interesting juxtoposition of realistic watercolor and abstract acrylic paintings, Durra being the first local artist to introduce abstract and cubist art. The common denominator in his work?

For Mohanna Durra, drawing "is the foundation of his entire artistic vision. The natural easy way in which he catches a rapid movement or the details of a complicated scene suggests a sudden discharge of the artistic impulse...What strikes one most in Durra's drawings is that he
seldom needs more than a few sweeping lines to define with great expression and precision any form or character...His hand moves with the vitality that comes from the whirling winds of the Jordanian desert. The figures are alive, lyrical and moving."
~Maryna L. Viets, 1979

And though we went for the watercolors, we found we could appreciate some of Durra's abstract art as well; some for the use of color, others for the lines and figures found within the painting. We gazed at this painting the longest.

Can you find the four figures in it?

After viewing the exhibition, we headed down to Wild Jordan cafe for a fresh fruit drink. I find its atmosphere and views of the city inspiring, as does my artist son. A thoroughly satisfying journey and we have determined that we must visit the local galleries more--next stop, the National Gallery.

(HT to Roba at Far and Away for the photos of Durra's paintings)

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