We are thrilled to introduce Hatem Imam as the featured artist in AD Leb’s first solo exhibition. Hatem’s profound artistry has always held a special place in our hearts, as it deeply resonates with Gaïa’s visionary spirit. From the moment we first met Hatem, his remarkable sensitivity and depth became evident. His work is a true reflection of his grounded personality, inviting viewers into a mesmerising realm that blurs the boundaries between reality and imagination.
Choosing Hatem for this exhibition was not only a matter of shared artistic values but also a testament to our commitment to experimentation. AD Leb and Hatem both embrace the notion of pushing boundaries, not only in the artistic process itself but also in the way art is displayed and experienced. It is through this shared belief that a profound dialogue and engagement with the viewer emerge, forging a profound connection between the artwork, its environment, and the observers who encounter it. This aligns perfectly with AD Leb’s mission of transcending traditional gallery spaces, allowing art and design to breathe in environments that have their own stories to tell.
We welcome you to a journey of contemplation and connection. Within our exhibition, we delve into the intricate relationship between body and place, where landscapes merge with figures, evoking a sense of both familiarity and estrangement. As we encounter these captivating scenes, we find ourselves navigating on the threshold between abstraction and figuration.
We express our heartfelt gratitude to you for joining us on this transformative journey. Your presence and support infuse our endeavours with purpose and meaning. Together, we celebrate the profound potential of Hatem’s work to provoke introspection, forge connections, and inspire new perspectives.
With warm appreciation,
23 June 2023
Hatem Imam has spent the last six months painting. Using elaborate installation strategies, Imam’s show, his most ambitious to date, introduces not only the results of his labor, but also the concerns that pervaded his process.
An unorthodox system of display and circulation compels the viewer to participate in this reflection on process and image. The paintings in the exhibition can be seen only one at a time. The conventions of the white cube—paintings rubbing shoulders, sweeping overviews allowing for the immediate identification of motifs, wandering, and ‘optimal’ distance between the observer and the painted surface—are broken. Here, the image forbids distraction. The space itself hinders social interaction. You are here to look and to look at looking.
If landscape can be regarded as sublimated self- portraiture that emerges as a result of estrangement, how then can we perceive scenes displaying an amalgam of body and place: a figure emerging from or sepulchered in a nebulous vista; a growth, possibly a body parts; a rock formation; or simply a dab of paint? Looking at an image that teeters on the threshold of abstraction and figuration induces the anxiety of tightrope walking. Our eyes, like our hands, will reach for places or bodies to settle in.
Scenography: Samer Bou Rjeily and Elie Naameh