Gypsum is pleased to present “Land of Sequels”, Nada Baraka’s second solo exhibition at the gallery. Building on her first show at Gypsum, “Cosmic Truths and Tales to be Told”, Baraka expands on a body of work of abstract expressionist paintings that depict her experience of space, imagination and memory. The show features work comprised of oil and acrylic paintings on canvas and paper.
In this series, Baraka is more confrontational with her inspirations and source material. Architectural elements lure one into a seemingly identifiable space when Baraka fills them with ghosts of animation characters, fantastical bodies and sound bubbles. The result is a cacophony of memories and flashing images that are all too familiar. In this second edition, Baraka digs deeper to unpack a darkness and an assertion of the images an artist emotionally registers along the years. And in a trance of rich colors and more pronounced figures, she manages to create even more abstract spaces for her memories to exist.
Baraka’s paintings are an illustration of her subjective relationship with physical surroundings. A spontaneous process is key to the deconstruction and building of her absurdist narratives. The elements are constantly evolving and transitioning; a splash would manifest into an animal and shadows change into other live forms during the course of a painting. The setting, inspired by old local comics, is cross-sectional, offering the simultaneous depth and flatness of representational space. Baraka resorts to depicting escapism and the flamboyance of interiors in the face of exterior calamity and anxiety. Toying with the combination of a surreal universe with real forms, elements and spaces, the work echoes an existential farce.
Born in 1990, Nada Baraka is a visual artist with a BA in Communication Media Art and Fine Arts from the American University in Cairo and a master’s degree in Fine Arts from Central Saint Martins, London. Her work has been shown in several group exhibitions in London, Paris and Lisbon, and she has been featured online in Louisiana, USA (Artebella). In 2015, she won first prize in Mohamad Abla's painting competition. Her work has been featured in Cairo in Gypsum gallery, Mashrabia Gallery, Darb 1718, Opera annual Youth Salon and Medrar. Baraka lives and works in Cairo.