I recently set up an exhibition in the headquarters of the Humanistic Institute for Development Cooperation (Hivos) in The Hague. The works are by the young Syrian artist Mahmoud Dayoub. Hivos headquarters are situated on the Raamweg 16 in The Hague and the exhibition can be seen every weekday during office hours (8am to 6pm) until 7 December 2011.
Mahmoud Dayoub is a Syrian artist born in 1981 in Homs, Syria. He first studied painting at the Sobhi Shoaib Center in Homs, then graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Damascus in 2005 – where he is currently enrolled in the Master programme.
The artist has had a solo show at the French Cultural Center in Damascus and has participated in a number of group shows in Syria, Tunisia and Iran. Since 2010 he has been represented by Galerie Beeld in Den Haag, who has brought his work to the attention of collectors in Belgium (Art Brussels) and the Netherlands (Affordable Art Fair in Amsterdam).
Mahmoud Dayoub is a very prolific artist, whose work reflects the energy of contemporary Syrian society. Syria was always one of the main centers of cultural production in the Arab world. Since the beginning of the 21st Century a true artistic boom has taken place, thanks to the first timid signs of reform and a generally favorable regional context.
The list of Syrian artists that have risen to international fame over the past decade is long. The first wave, carried by Syrian galleries with international ambitions is now being followed up by a young generation interested in social themes, new media and community art. Mahmoud Dayoub can be reckoned to this new generation – he has for example also experimented with video art.
Most of the works shown here have never been shown in Syria before. They express the state of existential anguish, frustration, confusion and powerlessness that a young Syrian can feel nowadays – without ever abandoning a sense of (dark) humor. The paintings on canvas and paper from 2011 have been complemented with a series of earlier works from 2007, based on the study of a woman pulling off her sweater over her head.
This exhibition has been set up with the generous support of Galerie Beeld (Anna Paulownastraat 87, Den Haag) and the artist himself. For more information please contact Robert Kluijver (the curator) at +31 614 777 828.