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MYRIAM EL HAÏK | The figure in the carpet | 8.12.2018 - 18.1.2019                                                                       press info

Myriam El Haïk borrowed the show’s title from a Henry James novel. James’ “The figure in the carpet” got famous (even made it to an idiomatic expression) for its delicate lambasting of literature critics and its first-person narrator, in particular. Quite possible that there is a bit of a gentle jostle addressed to the wisenheimer of the art critics profession in El Haïk’s borrowing. However, when it comes to her art work there is good reason to take the metaphor of “The figure in the carpet” literally. Given her upbringing in Rabat and the continued ties to the Moroccan culture the production and aesthetics of Moroccan carpets have been an important point of reference for her work ever since. There is however a striking turn in the more recent work on show. El Haïk has taken some important liberties from the disciplined work of repetitive setting of invented signs in her earlier minimalist drawings and notations. This by times extremely laborious work (in particular when it comes to her wall drawings) much resembles the physically exhausting weaving of carpets. El Haïk is now taking shortcuts and replaces the stringent, perhaps even compulsive order of minimalist repetition by a fast, apparently joyful, and surely colourful play. This play runs  across floaty small-size drawings, hardly larger hard edge collages using 2 or 3 rectangles of diverse materials incl. coloured cardboard, origamipaper and plywood, but also paintings and frottages that explore vertical dual colour combinations and their tonal values. Her approach is unmistakably still minimalist with strong formal links to the aesthetics of Moroccan carpets but she is now walking under a bright Moroccan sun taking in the full and still evolving colour scales of Moroccan textiles.

Opening: 15.12.2018 from 6 to 10 pm. Opening hours: Wednesday through Friday 3 to 8 pm.

zigwigwis, 2018, felt tip on paper 23 x 31 cm