A leading figure in contemporary Syrian art, Thaier Helal’s large mixed media works are at the forefront of contemporary Arab abstraction. Drawing inspiration from his immediate environment and the physical and psychic aspects of society and culture, Helal’s canvases communicate movement and energy through explosions of colour, the meticulous division of space and the repetitive layering of the surface.
Recent works have made use of media images of the Syrian military forces in an exploration of the Army’s role in society today. Repeated images of toy soldiers stacked in rows reflect and reveal the mythology and order that is integral to the Army’s foundation.
Born in Syria in 1967, Thaier Helal lives and works in the UAE. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Al Burda International Award from the Emirati Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development (2008); the Grand Gold Award at the Iran Contemporary Painting Biennial, Tehran (2005); the Award for Painting at the Sharjah International Biennial (1997) and the Distinguished Works Award at the 15th General Exhibition of the UAE Fine Arts Association (1996).
Selected solo exhibitions include Ayyam Gallery, Dubai, DIFC (2012); Ayyam Gallery Cairo (2011); Ayyam Gallery Beirut (2010) Ayyam Gallery Damascus (2010); Green Art Gallery, Dubai (2006, 2003); Cultural Foundation, Abu Dhabi (2002); Sharjah Art Museum (2000). Selected group exhibitions include Art Paris Abu Dhabi (2008); Iran Contemporary Painting Biennial, Tehran (2005); Imagining the Book International Biennale, Alexandria (2005).