Man of War

Edge of Arabia, London

Edge of Arabia Projects and Ayyam Gallery are going to show Man of War, the first UK solo exhibition of London-based Iraqi-British artist, Athier.

Renowned for his iconic style that draws on a range of influences, from European Modernism to contemporary Iraqi art, Athier’s new body of work explores notions of fluidity and the circumstances in which the viewer becomes detached from human destruction, themes with profound resonance in recent Iraqi history.

His paintings, drawings and prints reflect his past, with a deft and imaginative integration of motifs, which include Mesopotamian and Assyrian symbolism, figurative abstraction and Islamic geometry. Elsewhere there are echoes of a pre-revolutionary Iraq, testament to the powerful and enduring sense of exile and nostalgia, which suffuses so much of Athier’s work.

The central symbol throughout this new series of works is the Portuguese Man of War, a highly sophisticated ‘colonial’ organism, often mistaken for a jellyfish, which is made up of many separate parts incapable of independent survival. This creature exists without a central brain, yet it has perfected the ability to hunt, kill and destroy.

Subverting the concept of this marine life-form is a reflection of Athier’s experience of watching warfare in the Middle East from his position of exile in the West.

  • Artists:
  • Open:
    Monday, 17 February 2014
  • Close:
    Saturday, 29 March 2014
  • Address:
    Edge of Arabia Gallery, 40 Elcho Street London SW11 4AU United Kingdom
  • Mail:
  • Phone:
    +44 (0)20 7350 1336
  • Web:
    Edge of Arabia
  • Opening hour:
    Tue – Sat | 10am – 6pm
  • Photo credits:
    Athier: Man of War 7 (detail) © Edge of Arabia. Courtesy of the artist and Edge of Arabia

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