current exhibition

Rima Amyuni
A Tribute to a House Fairy

Born in Lebanon in 1954, trained in Britain and the United States, Rima Amyuni brings forth in her most recent work, a creaturely existence born out of the entirety of three decades of painting: Grand-scale landscapes and anatomies, dramatic self-portraits and almost casual portraits of other people, all executed from direct observation, paved the way for these 'fairy' paintings. Observation has become for her not only a personal language to represent the world around her, but the pictorial mechanism to turn reality into a strangeness of the uncanny type. Thick brush strokes applied in vibrant colors with the geometrical precision of Expressionism turn into solid human shapes with concrete scales.
Rather than using models in the manner of art historical painting, Amyuni turns to the still lifes within her own walls, painting her subjects in sculptural blocks embedded by proximity in her signature landscapes. These grand compositions however, while clearly identifiable from her windows on the hill of Yarzé, are never still; they speak an imaginative language and radiate with a soft breathing achieved through pure color. The allure to these works is not only the tendency towards a psychological view of nature and self, but the artist's capability of absorbing within figurative painting the language of abstract movements and color fields.
The main question arises: Who are these subjects if not traditional models? Rima Amyuni deploys a sharp intervention on the traditional genres of landscape and portrait painting by introducing subjects that are otherwise invisible in art: Domestic workers, women of color, and in general the total 'otherness' that is often portrayed only as exotic display or through irony. This apparently simple gesture upsets the hierarchies of traditional representation and opens up the possibility to expand the field of figurative painting. In 'Tribute to a House Fairy', Rima Amyuni retains her figurative grace but not without a sense of self-division; a Fauve chaos lurks underneath.

Arie-Amaya Akkermans

Text by Joseph Tarrab

Dany and Cypress, oil on canvas, 130x120cm, 2009. Ref. no.: ra01

Dany in the Studio, oil on canvas, 85x117cm, 2014. Ref. no.: ra04

Dany and Elizabeth, oil on canvas, 160x200cm, 2014. Ref. no.: ra05

Dany, charcoal on paper, 100x70cm, 2008. Ref. no.: ra02

Dany in the Laurel Leaves, oil on canvas, 120x120cm, 2014. Ref. no.: ra06

Dany, oil on canvas, 100x81cm, 2008. Ref. no.: ra07

Dany Ironing, oil on canvas, 100x117cm, 2008. Ref. no.: ra08

In India , oil on canvas, 150x115cm, 2011. Ref. no.: ra09

Dany with the Pine Trees, oil on canvas, 120x120cm, 2014. Ref. no.: ra06

Dany in Pink, oil on canvas, 100x140cm, 2009. Ref. no.: ra11

Dany peeling potatoes, oil on canvas, 120x120cm, 2014. Ref. no.: ra12

Hassan, oil on canvas, 100x140cm, 2014. Ref. no.: ra13

Dany and the Sunflowers, oil on canvas, 100x140cm, 2014. Ref. no.: ra14

Dany, charcoal on paper, 100x70cm, 2008. Ref. no.: ra03

13- 31 January, 2015

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