On June 4, Ayyam Gallery Damascus will proudly present the solo show of Holland-based Iraqi artist Sadik Kwaish Alfraji. Marking his debut exhibition with Ayyam Gallery since first joining its lineup of artists earlier this year, this forthcoming event will feature several new large-scale works.
Created as part of his recent “Waiting for Godot” series, these lambda prints are a continuation of Alfraji’s exploration of philosophical and existential themes. A visual artist, print maker and designer, Alfraji blends art and philosophy as a means of expanding the formulistic and conceptual boundaries of his aesthetic. His imposing multimedia compositions explore a variety of themes, including everything from the universal human condition to experiences of exile and fragmentation.
Revolving around colossal, ambiguous figures, which nearly fill the compositional space, this series derives its title from the 1950s Samuel Beckett play, which focuses on the happenings of two characters whom endlessly wait for “Godot”. The time that lapses as the central protagonists anticipate Godot’s arrival, which in the end does not occur, serves as the tableau through which pensive underpinnings are revealed. For Alfraji, this subject matter allows for further investigation into the absence of what is unspoken, that which never materializes but is longed for—that is desired but unattainable, be it love, freedom, happiness, and so on. In Alfraji’s work, however, it is understood that such want is out of the reach of his figures, yet they wait nonetheless.
Born in Baghdad in 1960, Sadik Kwaish Alfraji studied at the Institute of Fine Arts and the Academy of Fine Arts in Iraq, from which he graduated with a diploma and degree in plastic arts, respectively. After leaving his native country in the early 1990s, in 2000 he pursued a High Diploma in Graphic Design from the CHK Constantijn Huygens in the Netherlands, where he is now based. Having participated in countless exhibitions in the Middle East, Europe, Asia and the US since the 1980s, his work is housed in the collections of the National Museum of Modern Art in Iraq, The National Gallery of Fine Arts and the Shoman Foundation in Jordan, the Novosibirsk State Art Museum in Russia, and the Cluj-Napoca Art Museum in Romania. Recently he was commissioned to produce new work for “Told/Untold/Retold” one of the inaugural exhibitions of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha, Qatar.