Kamal Boullata: ... And There Was Light

24 September - 31 October 2015

Private View 23 September, 6 - 9pm


This autumn, BERLONI will stage the first London exhibition of Kamal Boullata's work since 1978.  The acclaimed Jerusalem born artist (now based in Berlin) known for his geometric abstract paintings, deals with questions of identity, exile, light and transparencies. This new series will occupy the Fitzrovia space with 19 new paintings on both canvas, and paper.


Mel Gooding writes on Boullata's work:


"In this marvellous series of seven paintings, Kamal Boullata engages with an elemental theme that has an ancient and revered history, and that takes us to the very heart of seeing and being: nothing less than the revelation of the world of light - the world revealed by light - in the seven days recorded in the Genesis myth of Creation. His treatment of the myth is purely abstract: his purposes, in fact, deeper than evocation and description. His formal programme, nevertheless, in its allusive variation of colour-light, dramatic complications of linear division and disposition of space, allows for those thematic possibilities, for it is a vivid presentation of signs that reverberates in the eye and mind as the imagination retraces the beautiful narrative of the text."


On Saturday, 17 October there will be a digital screening of Stranger At Home (1984) - a 16mm film by Rudolf van den Berg, documenting Kamal Boulata's first return to Jerusalem (duration 93 mins). Admission Free, screening to begin at 2pm. 


Kamal Boullata was born in Jerusalem in 1942. He is a graduate of the Academia di Belle Arti in Rome (1961-65) and the Corcoran Art Museum School in Washington, DC (1968-71). Over the last four decades he has lived in the USA (1968-1992), Morocco (1993-1996), and France (1997-2012). Exhibitions of his art have been mounted in North America, Europe and the Arab world. 

His work is found in private and public collections including the British Museum, London; Darat al-Funun: the Khalid Shoman Foundation, Amman; Patronato de la Alhambra Islamic Museum, Granada; Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah; Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris; Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, Amman; New York Public Library, New York; Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha; Bibliothèque Louis Notari, Monaco; Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah; Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. As a Fulbright Senior Scholar Fellow (1993 and 1994), he pursued field research on Islamic art in Morocco and Spain. With a Ford Foundation grant received in 2001, he conducted field research on post-Byzantine painting in Palestine. The author of four books on Palestinian art, he has edited a number of books on modern poetry and contemporary culture. In 2012-13, Kamal Boullata was elected as a Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin.