Sara Chaar, An untitled body. Recent Paintings.
Galerie Claude Lemand , 70 avenue Jean Moulin , 75014 Paris.
Visits every day, only by appointment.
To celebrate the 35th anniversary of his gallery, which was founded in Paris in October 1988, Claude Lemand, a collector, gallery owner, art publisher, and major donor to the Institut du Monde Arabe museum, is pleased to offer a selection of sumptuous recent paintings by artist SARA CHAAR to Parisian and international audiences. Her "song of self and the world" is expressed through her lyrical compositions ranging from microscopic images of her body to cosmic visions of the universe.
From the poetry of her forms (tiny components captured in powerful liquid movements and agglutinating in fluctuating compositions and metamorphoses that overflow the limits of the canvases) to the poetry of her colors (large masses of red, blue, white and purple and her pink hues which may connect to flesh and skin). Armed with a long practice of pictorial material and a desire to explore one’s biological and sexual identity, she explores the mystery of oneself here and elsewhere, much like a biologist who explores with his microscope or an astronomer with his telescope, the planets and suns... in search of the mystery of oneself, here and elsewhere.
In An untitled body, Sara Chaar explores existential inquiries that question the conflicting ideas between biological characteristics and social constructions of identity, through a series of abstract compositions that act as metaphorical maps of the artist’s anatomy and psyche. Chaar relies on visual strategies that nurtured her previous series like What Remains on the Walls, a series of large scale paintings that serve as an intimately conceptualized testimony to the history of the city using the memories that remain on the walls. The series was made by copying and layering imprints of traces of time and past events left on the walls in Beirut.
In her new body of work, Chaar uses fragments of microscopic images of chromosomes, cells and close-up views of her own body that she manipulates by either altering their scale or using only bits and pieces. The biological imagery that inspired this series function as both the point of origin and destination of her instinctive working process. However, instead of being left apparent, these referents, which also touch upon the artist’s identity, inhabit each of the paintings’ layers, transforming them into gestures that unveil the psychological and physiological depths that lie beneath the skin.
Sara Chaar’s works serve as personal testimonies that operate as unconscious negotiations between our bodies and the culturally determined codes that construct thought. Given that identity formation can be seen as a consequence of transgression and taboo, what images arise that encapsulate the withheld sentiments of the self: emotional mindscapes, a floating infinity of cells and organs, or merely an accumulation of layers that progressively erases the memory of the brush stroke that preceded it?