January 7 - February 26
Artists from the Middle East & the Americas
January 7th – February 26th, 2022
The exhibition showcases the work of Immigrant artists from Cuba, Haiti, Israel, Syria, Switzerland, Turkey, and Venezuela share their art and personal stories about their cultural heritage intertwined with their American experience, the impact of immigration, and the new American culture on their lives and art making.
Although the artworks may differ esthetically, there is much that connects them conceptually. Common threads are recurrent references to their heritage history, shared experiences, indigenous mythologies, and social norms. The artists often invoke national art histories, either in tribute or subversion, but also engage with current happenings, and international artistic trends. These artists dialogues with the traditions of the past at the same time that they participate in current global artistic discussions. Their simultaneous engagement with the past, present, and the future speaks to a singular creative present. The artists explore history, create commentary around current happenings with mark making techniques, materials, and process in a variety of media. The exchange of ideas and acknowledgement of influence of these artists have long comprised the tenets of creative production by creating a new lexicon of post-modern commentary and imagistic anarchy, intentionally borrowing and sharing pictures that were local to their heritage and experience as a way of breaking apart conventional notions of ownership. Whether the implications are laudatory, reverent, academic, or incendiary, the playful, storied history of “originality” in art bears closer examination.
Averbuch builds sculptures that transform spaces. Familiar images are recycled and reapplied, taking on meaning as symbols or metaphors to tell a story through a sensitive balance of scale, material, and mass. he has created numerous landmarks and public sculptures for different kinds of spaces, including university campuses, public parks, technical schools, medical centers, a recreation center, transit stations, a supreme court, and a fire station. He uses durable and sustainable materials including stone, wood, steel, glass, and copper. Many of his materials are recycled from dismantled bridges, roads, and buildings, adding further allusions to the area’s history and the site specificity of the work. Over the past 30 years he has been devoted to creating public, permanent, large-scale, site-specific sculptures. Since 1989, he has done 28 public projects across the United States, in Israel, India, and Germany.
Ilan Averbuch was born in Tel Aviv, Israel and now lives and works in New York City. His cultural heritage and experiences are well incorporated into his creative thinking through historical legends, ancient art from his birthplace Israel and new life in America “The path to art, isolation and impatience as a creative force, how the landscape around you creates your artistic pallet” Averbuch said. The process of work is by drawing from thoughts inspired by his reading of historical writings and from his world travels. He constructs gallery size sculptures and builds monumental sculptures commissioned for public art projects that combine old and new materials, such as stone, steel, concrete, wood, and aluminum
Fischer’s recent work ‘Fusion worlds’ recently was exhibited in Toledo, Spain that defines what the artist wants to convey, an artistic clash between the unknown heritage of the Caves of Hercules and the pictorial works of a contemporary artist like Fischer. The artist’s new work has a connotation of “a chaos in the eyes of others” and a puzzle to be completed in hers, “A mixture of ingredients that only the artist knows how to make sense of the works” that she has shown, before at galleries in Toledo, Seville, and New York, among others.
Fischer was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and has lived in Switzerland for the past thirty years. She maintains strong connections in both countries, spending equal time at her studios in Bern & Memphis. Her paintings have been featured at numerous galleries and exhibitions, including Scope Art Fair Miami, the Austrian Biennale, and the Venice Biennale. Aside from art, Kelly has published eleven children’s books and is the former founder and head of the English Montessori School of Bern, Switzerland.
Behar’s used a wide variety of techniques and media, and currently working on combining laser cutting with traditional printmaking techniques, specifically woodblock printing. Her research has centered in the representation of women’s bodies and gender identities throughout history, more specifically focused on body language as it relates to gender norms. Her work was exhibited nationally and innternationally at galleries and at biennales in Venezuela and United States. Her work won several awards and was featured in many art magazines.
Behar was born in Caracas, Venezuela and live and works in Florida, she was trained in the “Academia Taller Arte y Fuego” in Caracas between 1994 and 1998. She became a specialist in Glass Casting and Pate de Verre through studies and workshops in Italy and USA. She immigrated to the US in 2000, and has a MFA degree with emphasis in printmaking from Florida Atlantic University, FL.
At heart, Duval Carrié is an educator, he challenges the viewer to make meaning of dense iconography derived from Caribbean history, politics, and religion. His mixed media works and installations present migrations and transformations, often human and spiritual. Recently the conceptual layering of Duval Carrié’s works has been further emphasized in his materials and through consistent attention to translucent and reflective mediums, such as glitter, glass, and resin. The introspective effects of these mediums transform his works into spatial interventions that implicate the viewer in their historicity. At their most fundamental, Duval Carrié’s works ask the viewer to complicate the Western Canon, to consider how Africa has shaped the Americas, and how the Caribbean has shaped the modern world.
Duval-Carrié was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and now lives and works in Miami. He is a graduate with MFA from École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France, and BFA from Loyola College, Montréal
Khawam’s work explores social and heritage structures that objectify marginalized communities and the bodies of vulnerable populations especially the immigrants by examining the cross-cultural dynamic in our communities for better cultural bridge building and understanding. His work is characterized by its layered formal, material, and conceptual complexity of a grid like forms, colors and gestures in more experimental, spontaneous working process
Khawam is an American born in Aleppo, Syria and lives and works in Florida. He is a graduate from the School of Visual Arts in NYC and deeply rooted in his Middle Eastern heritage and the American experience through histories, current events, and the surrounding urban landscape with influences of post-war German and American art. His architecture and heritage paintings are formed by ideas about today’s socio-cultural issues such as social disruption, displacement, and immigration, intertwined with the American culture.
Ferrer was born in Cuba, lives and works in Miami. She graduated from San Alejandro Academy, and René Portocarrero National Silk Screen Print Shop, Havana, Cuba. Atribuciones in Fidelio Ponce Gallery (1990) was her first solo exhibition, which led her to leave the Cuban art scene for the Spanish circuit where she participated in: Expo Universal Sevilla 92, Arts Pavillion, La temperatura de Dios (1993), Fisiología decorativa (1994) and La isla mágica in Copenhagen, together with two masters, Julio Girona and the Spaniard Fernando Somosa, etc. Ivonne migrated to the United States in 1995. In 1997 produced Trinomio cubano at Botello Gallery, Puerto Rico and in 2001 the solo exhibition at Durban Segnini Gallery. 2012 (R) Evolution Comics, Solo Exhibition, Aluna Art Foundation, Miami. Her work is held in the permanent collections of: the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), California.
Inspired by ancient Middle Eastern culture, religious iconography, Romantic landscapes, and popular culture, Sabour explores taste and desire, synthesizing elegance and kitsch—his sources date from the archaic period, in history and archaeology, the earliest phases of a culture. He employs modern motifs reminiscent of the European Dada movement rather than the precision of historical iconography—but with added touches of the surreal, the fantastical, and the Arabic calligraphy. His recent work includes Icons, Maaloula and Palmyra have a correlation to the historical and religious places in Syria where the extremists entered towns and ransacked the culture.
Sabour was born in Latakia and now lives and works in Damascus and Moscow. He received his PhD in art philosophy from Strugunov Academy in Moscow, the influence of Middle Eastern culture is reflected in his work and splits between two themes, the first has religious undertones, focusing on the artist’s fascination with historical imagery and icons whether Christian, Islamic or non-Abrahamic traditions and the second theme is very poetic. His images tend to appear archaic, utilizing traditional elements silkscreened with paint, sand, and ash on canvas, with a flattened perspective and spots of colored shapes.
Charara uses both humor and pain in a touching and evocative way. He imbues all of his work with character and narrative, in complex settings that draw on Arabic and Middle Eastern patterns and compositions, finding the connections between history and contemporary life. He works out of his sprawling studio in Detroit’s Midtown neighborhood.
Adnan Charara was born in Lebanon, raised in Sierra Leone and now lives and works in Dearborn Michigan. He is a voraciously productive artist who has spent his life collecting and expressing ideas from a wide array of cultural sources. Having grown up in Lebanon and Sierra Leone, with an entire adulthood lived in the United States—while exhibiting in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas—he has a unique artistic perspective of what multiculturalism and identity means in contemporary global society, as well as what “home” means. As a child, he loved making artwork, was encouraged by his family, and started to concentrate fully on honing his style and vision after getting a degree in Architecture and City Planning from Boston University.
Charara moved to Dearborn, Michigan with his wife in the late 1990s, and fell in love with the Detroit area while developing his studio practice and raising two daughters. He was featured on the PBS series Arab-American Stories in 2012. Recently he was nominated for a Smithsonian Fellowship and was honored by the Arab American Chamber of Commerce. In addition, he has served on the boards of several arts institutions, and has exhibited all over the United States and internationally, in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Working in multiple disciplines such as painting, jewelry, collage and sculpture.
I intend to draw attention to symbolic use of cloth in my series of textile works, specifically focusing on themes of concealment or hiding, motivated by reluctance to confront problems and making the identity of people visible in light of their religious, linguistic, and racial differences. In an environment, where the binding and destructive practices of cultures are mixed and folded together; I wish to emphasize how purity and beauty are folded together with cruelty and loneliness, by mixing the immensely soft and silent, texture of fabric with synthetic gold and silver colored metallic survival blankets.
Sibel Kocabasi is a multidisciplinary visual artist, working in painting, textiles, staged photography, and installations. Her art addresses contemporary social concerns: from the deteriorating natural environment, migration, violence against women, across cultures, including the suppression of female identity and the recent awakening of feminine power and confidence. In her artworks, she utilizes diverse media: such as traditional rugs, found objects, emergency survival blankets, and fibers. Her recent paintings carry an eternal connection with universal nature.
Kocabasi was born in northwest Turkey and raised in Istanbul; she lives and works in South Florida, USA, and Istanbul, Turkey. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Turkish Traditional Arts (rug-kilim design, natural dyes, conservation and restoration of textiles, and illumination of manuscripts) from the Marmara University of Fine Arts in Istanbul. She received her Master’s in Fine Arts degree (painting) from Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, in 2005. Kocabasi is the recipient of the 2010 South Florida Cultural Consortium’s Visual and Media Artists Fellowship and the 2006 Hector Ubertalli Visual Arts Award.
As an artist, Kocabasi was selected to talk and present a workshop on “Weaving, Textiles and Painting” at the Boca Raton Museum of Art, Florida. She has also been honored to have juried many visual art competitions. She has ten years of teaching experience in visual arts; she taught art at Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, Palm Beach State College, Armory Art Center, Light House Art Center, and the Very Special Arts. Her artwork is in numerous private collections as well as the Beth DeWoody Collection and The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum in Miami, Florida. Her artwork has been exhibited in national and international venues: including the 10th International Cairo Biennial, Tomio Koyama, Japan, International Museum of Art and Science, McAllen, Texas, and Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts, Istanbul, Turkey.