Only a trained calligrapher like Aatifi, who has learned the rules of this traditional art for decades and masters them in his sleep, can dare to break through exactly this stringent set of rules in such a light-hearted and free way and thus put his works into a completely new context: The calligrapher, painter & graphic artist with Afghan roots introduces the tradition of centuries-old Arabic calligraphy to the free expression of contemporary art - and withstands the extraordinarily demanding balancing act between mastering characteristic letter proportions and creating his own, detached visual language up to the highest expert committees and museum collections.
The unambiguity and monumentality of the elements testify to a radical dynamism that runs like a thread through his entire oeuvre, even though he has no regard for the congruence or competition of the individual forms. The focus is on the light-hearted dance of the letters, which takes the viewer on a journey to previously unknown realms.
Even without a linguistic background to decode individual letters, everyone can feel the beauty of the color, the tension of the forms and the spatial effect, and thus penetrates to a global language code with a subordinate claim to understanding, which is, however, expanded by the self-confident colorfulness to an aesthetic experience.
The breeze that sets the red curtain in the fleeting state of blowing - right next to the open book on the table and the expansive shadows that penetrate through the window panes into the interior of the room.
Edite Grinberga grants the viewer her perceptive view, refined over decades, into the situation before and after, abandoned by the supposedly human protagonist and ergo setting the stage for the actual main actors: light and shadow. The minimalist representational content of her canvases recedes in favor of the hyper-realistic elegance of their appearance, giving way to a super-cooled hyper-articulateness that elaborates the light situations with a sensitivity peculiar to Grinberga.
The artist teaches, in distinguished restraint, the wonder of the color white, leaving the fragile light situation entirely to the viewer, who can lose himself in the melancholic tendency of moments that are already passé. Grinberga works with an unmatched care, as if with more details more reality could be built. Instead, the exaggeration of the spaces depicted in a careful color palette between white and gray paradoxically contributes to its tender transfiguration - a meticulously calculated mystery with a never-ending fascination for the poetry of the moment.
- Eva Karl, Creative Director & Art Journalist
The Kandahar-born artist Aatifi, who trained as a calligrapher as a child and later received a degree in painting from Kabul University, combines in his "scriptural art" the traditional, oriental art of writing with elements of modern, European art in an innovative and masterly way. At the core of his paintings lies the light-hearted dance of the letters, which takes the viewer on a journey into previously unknown realms of art. Even without deciphering distinct letters, the observer is welcomed to experience the beauty of the colors, which model the tension of the forms and their spatial effect, as well as their intense, aesthetic radiance. The characters, consisting of broad brushstrokes, form voluminous figures on the light background, individual splashes of paint expose traces of the painting process and offer a certain spontaneity to the works created under the highest concentration.
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