United States, born Iraq, 1975
charcoal and acrylic on canvas
72 1/2 x 62 1/2 inches
Collection of Iris and Adam Singer. ©Ahmed Alsoudani. Photo Courtesy of Haunch of Venison, New York.
The Portland Museum of Art (PMA) has announced that on September 7, 2013, the museum will present Ahmed Alsoudani: Redacted, the first major museum exhibition of the work of American-Iraqi artist and Maine College of Art & Design graduate Ahmed Alsoudani (BFA, 2005). The exhibition will feature nearly 20 of the artist’s tumultuous and innovative paintings, which reflect on the horrors of war with a unique artistic voice. Ahmed Alsoudani: Redacted will be on view through December 8, 2013, in the PMA’s Third Floor Gallery for Contemporary Art.
“Challenging the viewer with nuanced art historical arguments and blatantly difficult, abject, and grotesque imagery, Alsoudani does what few artists can do: he successfully translates the complexity of contemporary politics into meaningful painting,” said PMA Director Mark H.C. Bessire.
Through his personal experience as a child and adolescent in war-torn Iraq, Alsoudani developed a keen sensitivity to the effects of war, violence, terror, and political unrest on a global scale. His paintings reflect his experiences as well as the mediated nature of war in our time. “I’m not just commenting on Iraq but on an experience that becomes universal,” Ahmed Alsoudani said, referring to Untitled, 2007, a loose, nearly abstract rendering of the moment the infamous statue of Saddam Hussein fell in Baghdad in 2002. His splintered compositions, and the overwhelming and sometimes harrowing scenes represented in a bright, near-primary palette, address the uneasy balance in our culture between scenes of disaster and objects of beauty.