Cosmic Truths and Tales to be Told
27 May - 10 July 2019
Gypsum is pleased to be launching its new space with “Cosmic Truths and Tales to be Told”, Egyptian painter Nada Baraka's first solo exhibition with the gallery. The show features a new body of work, comprised of oil and acrylic paintings on canvas and paper. In this series, Baraka creates an experience of a nascent space, with elements that seem to be on the verge of fruition, only to accelerate straight into a state of visual delusion. She draws on various visual and experiential elements to construct these sites of commotion.
Interested in the farcical aesthetics of 1960s interior design, Baraka has been collecting hundreds of images from magazines, books and films to set up her ambiguous figurines onto dimensional landscapes, throwing block colors, domesticated bridges and whirlwinds onto decipherable backdrops of architectural space. She also borrows from the absurdity and gory violence of vintage cartoons, where she perceives its primitive graphic form as a kind of genuineness that mitigates its intensity.
Baraka’s spaces close in and simultaneously expand to reflect a state of innate lunacy and an earnest whimsicality that registers pain and soothes the unbearable. She is drawn to absurdist schools of literature, where stories escalate beyond rationality to question and toy with the fundamentals of the human condition. Her process is influenced by the writings of Gilles Deleuze on the methodology of Francis Bacon as a painter; the canvas becomes a nonlinear narrative space for the artist throughout, where everything has already happened before she begins to apply herself onto its whiteness.
Born in 1990, Nada Baraka is a visual artist with a BA in Communication Media Art and Fine Art from the American University in Cairo and a master’s degree in Fine Arts from Central Saint Martins, London. Her work has been shown in several group exhibitions in London, Paris and Lisbon, and she has been featured online in Louisiana, USA (Artebella). In 2015, she won first prize in Mohamad Abla's painting competition. Her work has been featured in Cairo in Gypsum gallery, Mashrabia Gallery, Darb 1718, Tache, ArtsMart, Opera annual Youth Salon and Medrar. Baraka lives and works in Cairo.