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George Mason University Presents: One Eye Open: Paintings by Rashwan Abdelbaki

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George Mason University is pleased to announce an exhibition of paintings by artist Rashwan Abdelbaki from October 16, 2017 – December 2, 2017. An artist’s reception and gallery talk will take place October 25th, 5-7:30 p.m. Abdelbaki was an ArteEast-sponsored Artist-in-Residence from January-September 2017, in partnership with the Institute for International Education’s Artist Protection Fund.

Abdelbaki’s work emerges in the context of the ongoing Syrian war and the underlying social crises currently being experienced by the citizens of the Middle East. Abdelbaki’s large and mid-sized canvases present rich allegorical studies of human relationships using stark abstracted figures and bold colors in evocative domestic tableaux.

A recurring motif in Abdelbaki’s paintings are figures clothed in simple striped garments and depicted with one eye open and the other eye closed. The artist says of these figures, “…in these faces is the fear that keeps us from sleeping in peace, always vigilant so that we can know what’s happening around us and be prepared. The people of this piece are striped to show how politics and religion constantly strive to group and imprison us: to have us think that we are all different, to divide us according to belief and nationality and color.”

Abdelbaki will speak at the reception October 25th, 5-7:30 p.m.

About the Artist

Rashwan Abdelbaki is an emerging Syrian artist born in 1984 in Damascus, Syria 1984. He graduated from Fine Arts College of Damascus University in 2007. He has had solo exhibitions at Dar Al-Mussawir in Beirut and the Al-Hamra Theatre in Damascus and has received fellowships from the American Academy in Rome, the Institute of International Education’s Artist Protection Fund, and the Vermont Studio Center. Rashwan was a 2017 ArteEast artist-in-residence in partnership with the Institute of International Education’s Artist Protection Fund.

About Mason Exhibitions at George Mason University

Mason Exhibitions is multiple-venue forum dedicated to displays of visual art that advance research, dialogue and learning around global social issues. Mason Exhibitions provides a platform for University-wide collaboration engaging science, philosophy, communications, conflict resolution, sustainability among others. Mason Exhibitions is a partnership between Mason’s School of Art (SOA) and Provisions Research Center for Arts and Social Change located on the Fairfax campus. The SOA’s Fine Arts Gallery offers exhibitions of emerging and established contemporary artists, thesis exhibits by current MFA candidates, and a semi-annual senior class exhibition. Exhibitions are also presented on the Fairfax Campus in Mason Hall’s Atrium Gallery, The Fenwick Library’s Lobby Gallery and Special Collections Gallery, as well as displays throughout the campus featuring works from the University Art Collection. The Hylton Performing Arts Center on the Manassas Campus houses the Buchanan Partners Gallery, and the Arlington Campus will open a new gallery and film screening facility in 2018 adjacent to the Virginia Square Metro Station in 2018. Every year in April the School of Art hosts its special fundraising, Off the Wall
All events free and open to the public.

Location: Fine Arts Gallery, Art & Design Building (#4 on Fairfax campus Map) Paid parking: Shenandoah Parking Deck (#43 on campus map)