Addolcendo: Kamal Boullata

16 January - 28 February 2017

Meem Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of the Berlin-based Palestinian artist Kamal Boullata. Opening on January 16th 2017, this is the second solo exhibition hosted by Meem Gallery. It shows recent watercolour paintings in contrast to two series of silkscreen prints from the artist’s earlier oeuvre.


Titled Addolcendo, the exhibition takes its name from the title of the main body of work to be displayed. The Addolcendo series comprises of a group of intimate works on paper, which are created by employing the pochoir technique, as a method for painting instead of printmaking, as it was originally used in the early 20th Century in Paris. The result of this technique, combined with Boullata’s ubiquitous style, is seemingly three-dimensional works that force the viewer to slow down, to study, to soften. The vivid use of colour draws the viewer’s eyes across the composition, stopping abruptly and starting again as colour fields develop, and then break. As Dorothea Schoene notes in her essay, On The poetics of Composition: Kamal Boullata’s Addolcendo Series (Page 25, Addolcendo exhibition catalogue, Meem Editions 2017), “the choice of the pochoir technique creates the illusion of a folded and unfolded paper”.


The Addolcendo series creates a sense of duality in its viewing. The contrast of these works is mirrored in the manner that the work is at once both playful and measured, both spontaneous and organized. The sharp, angular lines of the works and the preoccupation with the square bring to mind earlier works by Boullata; such as the Bilqis series and earlier experimentations on canvas, such as Ishraq I, 2001 and And Yet it Moves, 1999. Reminiscent yes, but in the fabric of the work there is a divergence as the medium becomes fragile once again, the choice of watercolour on paper, instead of stronger, sturdier canvas. The lightness of the watercolour and gouache itself, combined now with textured crayon instead of thicker, layered acrylic.