On December 19 Ayyam Gallery, Dubai (DIFC) will proudly present “Dirty Laundry” an exhibition featuring recent canvases by Syrian painter Tammam Azzam. Continuing his acclaimed body of work, which utilizes rope, clothespins and other found objects, Azzam remains interested in the visual possibilities of basic components amidst an organic state, where the driving force of their arrangement is solely “the mechanisms of creation.” For Azzam, the benefit of working from such methodology is that it facilitates the creation of an artwork as a “hybrid form,” one that is capable of borrowing and multiplying as it evolves. Focusing on technique and experimentation, each installment of the series varies dramatically.
Last year, however, he decided to depart from his “Laundry Series” altogether, producing an entirely different brand of painting. Using an airbrush technique, he turned to figuration, depicting ominous cityscapes in a series titled “Metallica,” a reference to both the metallic quality of this style and the blunt luster of an industrial environment. Taking a cue from the graffiti-like execution of the “Metallica” paintings, his lines and clothespins now appear as ghostly silhouettes that float before pitch-black backgrounds. In some instances he has stressed their semblances by painting over their airbrushed impressions. The result is a transient appearance, as if in the form of a photographic negative, an image that exists but has yet to be fully realized or extracted. In each new phase of the series, Azzam has pushed his experiments to the extreme case of conception and formulism, altering every detail of his approach.
Born in Damascus in 1980, Tammam Azzam is one of Syria’s rising young talents. A graduate of the Faculty of Fine Arts with a concentration in oil painting, he has exhibited in some of the country’s leading art spaces. Striving to further his artistic practice, Azzam obtained a Fine Arts Certificate from Darat al Funun’s esteemed artist workshop program Al Kharif Academy under Syrian master Marwan Kassab Bashi in 2001. Selected for the “Shabab Ayyam” project in 2007, he has been featured in several subsequent standout events including the group show “Stories from the Levant,” Scope Art Fair (Basel) 2009 and Art Miami 2010.