06 December, 2021 - 06 January, 2022

Solo Souls

Annie Kurkdjian

Albareh Art Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Solo Souls, a solo exhibition of the latest works of award-winning Lebanese artist Annie Kurkdjian. The opening reception will be held at Albareh's Adliya premises at 7.00 p.m. on Monday, December 6th.

Kurkdjian’s latest work brings shadows to the forefront. Created in the context of what the Artist describes as hell, the works welcome you to stroll through weighted psyches that continue to endure and adjust to the elements of life. Be it emotional, physical or situational. The figures are bold even as they have to bend to these spaces, wary of the future and the animals reflect that distrust.

The element of the unknown seeps through as it is hard to discern where on their journey Kurkdjian’s characters are and what is yet to come. Everything feels fluid and uncertain, her signature hands reflecting that desire to hold on to the tangible and return to a sturdier reality. These pieces were created in the larger context of a global pandemic and a local financial crisis in, as the artist describes, “an agonising country, where everything flows, every day, a little more, in disorder and suffering”. Despite this, in her lighter portraits she captures the contrasting quality of fluidity that can be loving, hopeful, and full of lust for life. The softness of the pillow is a welcome change from the harshness of other elements and a loving embrace is a call to home.

“We are fitting into life at the end of the day, for example in Lebanon there is a specific space and we are adjusting to these spaces even when the spaces are uncomfortable.” “To remain human, to save one’s soul” becomes a challenge in this light and Kurkdjian presents this exhibition to the Lebanese people who continue to survive with courage, beauty and an otherworldly resilience.

Kurkdjian holds a degree in fine arts from the Lebanese University and degrees in psychology and theology from the Lebanese University and St. Joseph's University, respectively. She is the recipient of the Ville de Fontenay-sous-Bois Award (2014), the Jouhayna Badour Prize (2012), and Atelier-Z's First Prize in Figurative Painting (2011) and the Special Mention of the Jury at Sursock Salon, Beirut (2010). Her work has been exhibited in Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Austria, France, Italy, Spain, the UK and the USA, and is in the collections of the Musee de Tesse, Le Mans, France, Balamand University, Lebanon and the Fontenay-sois-Bois Town Hall in France, as well as numerous private collections.

She acknowledges her art as a form of self-therapy and describes her work as 'existential' paintings in which she explores people and their relationships with each other and the spaces they inhabit.