Opening reception: Tuesday, 23 January from 7.00 to 9.00 pm (DIFC)

Athier in conversation with Anna Seaman: Saturday, 27 January at 3.00 pm (A4 Screening Room, Alserkal Avenue)


Ayyam Gallery Dubai (DIFC) is pleased to announce All Things Come Apart, a solo presentation of paintings by Athier Mousawi.


About the show


All Things Come Apart explores the changing of state from order to disorder, attempting to capture the perfect composition that harmoniously exists in between. In these new works the artist makes a number of aesthetic and conceptual shifts – a departure from his more recognisable amalgamation of geometric and free flowing, boldly colourful forms.


Rather than using loose shapes, squiggles, and structural lines to simply capture ideas on discarded bits of paper, these preliminary marks have become the very basis of the works. Seamlessly fused with bubbles, material textures, geometric shapes, and bodily elements, the artist creates layers for his floating and spacious compositions. One of the main constructs within these works is the newly introduced three dimensional elevation. The introduction of this to his scenes adds a surrealist mood to the works: the treatment of shadows and the weighing of the elements somehow create a believability to the fantastical and impossible arrangement of forms, floating in a dreamlike space.


Athier’s definitive idea of what ‘futuristic’ looked like was strongly fused with the Metaphysical Painting movement, the Futurists, and the Memphis movements throughout Europe in the early twentieth century, as well as early visual effects defined by the late 80s and early 90s aesthetic: bright colours and crude grid-based computer animation. The play between colours and elements within these works try to echo this transitional effect.


About the Artist


Athier Mousawi (b.1982) is a British Iraqi visual artist whose work over recent years has centred on posing unanswerable questions against undefined answers and forming a visual narrative between the two. Since graduating with an MA in Design and Illustration from Central St. Martins, London in 2007, the subject of much of his work has been Iraq and his diasporic relationship to his intrinsic yet foreign homeland.



Separate to his artistic practice, Athier has worked extensively as an educator in the United Kingdom and abroad. For three consecutive years, beginning in 2007, Athier worked as a British Museum Arab Artist in Residence, working in schools throughout the UK. In 2011, he was selected to serve as the Chasing Mirrors Artist in Residence at the National Portrait Gallery, leading workshops in community centres across London. Athier has also worked in a number of refugee camps as a workshop leader in Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan, and in 2014 was invited by the Palestinian Museum as a Visiting Artist to conduct workshops with children in the West Bank. In 2015, he was selected to work at the artist-run interdisciplinary space Beirut Art Residency.


Selected solo and group exhibitions include Ayyam Gallery Beirut (2017), Ayyam Gallery Dubai (2016), Nest Gallery, Geneva, Switzerland (2014), Ayyam Gallery London (2014), Edge of Arabia, London, UK and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (2013), Cuadro Fine Art Gallery, Dubai, UAE (2013), National Portrait Gallery, London, UK (2011), The Royal Academy, London, UK (2011), Tashkent International Art Biennale, Tashkent, Uzbekistan (2011).


About Ayyam Gallery


Founded in 2006, Ayyam Gallery is a leading arts organisation that manages the careers of diverse established and emerging artists. Blue-chip art spaces in Beirut and Dubai, a series of collaborative projects in the United States, Europe, and Asia, and a multinational non-profit arts programme have furthered the gallery’s mandate of expanding the parameters of international art. With its widely respected multilingual publishing division and a custodianship programme that manages the estates of pioneering artists, Ayyam Gallery has also contributed to recent efforts that document underrepresented facets of global art history. 


Exhibition Facts


Exhibition Dates: 23 January – 8 March 2018
Opening Reception: Tuesday, January 23 from 7.00 to 9.00 pm
Athier in conversation with Anna Seaman: Saturday, 27 January at 3.00 pm (A4 Screening Room, Alserkal Avenue)
Regular Hours: Sun – Thur: 12.00 pm to 10.00 pm
Location: Ayyam Gallery, Gate Village 3, DIFC, Dubai
T: +971 4 4392395


For press information and artwork images, please contact or +971 4 3236242.