Nadim Karam: Shooting the Cloud, London

Already located in Damascus, Beirut and Dubai, the newest Ayyam Gallery opens in London with its first show by Nadim Karam. The Ayyam Gallery is committed to exhibiting the best in emerging Middle Eastern artists, and as such opens Karam’s Shooting the Cloud this month, running 25 January until 9 March. The Lebanese artist and architect will inaugurate the gallery’s first European location at 143 New Bond Street, London. Incorporating painting, drawing, sculpture and writing, Karam’s approach is a multi-disciplinary exploration of various cultural influences that transcend social, political and national borders. He creates a unique picture based language, full of recurring symbols, original characters and innovative narratives, that form a somewhat absurdist exploration of the power of dreams.

Primarily well known for his public art, Karam was recently celebrated for his architectural plan The Cloud, which made international headlines for its revolutionary ideas and unique vision in redesigning public space amidst Dubai’s growing cityscape. The artist’s projects and installations are interventions that seek to give cities life. He works with places as diverse as Melbourne, Prague, Dubai, Beirut, London and Nara, Japan. These works are often made up of large-scale steel sculptures, described as “urban toys” by Karam himself. The pieces reflect his thought that it is not just humans that need to dream but cities too, as he rejects the empty modern spaces familiar in the 21st Century.

Shooting the Cloud exhibits of a series of new paintings and steel sculptural works. The paintings are rich in colour and delve into a playful, almost satirical world that views love and war in a new light. While the iconic sculptural pieces reproduce the world around them and then disappear into it, suggesting that cities do have the ability to dream.

Nadim Karam: Shooting the Cloud, 25 January until 9 March, Ayyam Gallery, 143 New Bond Street, 1st Floor, W1S 2TP, London.

1. Nadim Karam & Atelier Hapsitus (Naji Moujaes, Ramona Abdo, Makram el-Kadi), Untitled, 1994-1997, Manes Bridge, Prague, Courtesy the artist and Ayyam Gallery.
2. Nadim Karam, ‘Trio of Elephants’, Three stainless steel sculptures, 2012, Courtesy the artist and Ayyam Gallery.
3. Nadim Karam & Atelier Hapsitus (Makram el-Kadi, Naji Moujaes, Karim Moallem, Micheal Habib), Untitled, 1997-2000, Downtown Beirut, Courtesy the artist and Ayyam Gallery.