Nasser Al Salem’s training as an architect has taught him that all objects and creation has a premeditated system in place. This system maps out how components are fused together, how they function, and how then they effect its aesthetical composition.
His work as a calligrapher is also ruled by a system of geometric principles that allow this art an aesthetical, geometrical and spiritual composition, the latter as an extension of himself.
His work fuses a blueprint of calligraphy depicting a verse from the Holy Quran, [It is] The Work of Allah , Who Perfected All Things, [Chapter Al Naml, Verse 88] -- with the notion that all creation has a perfected blueprint in place; mapped out by the creator Himself. He imagines the insight gained, and the state a person would be in, should he observe the blueprint of all creation.
Pirim’s designs are the product of a visual and conceptual counteraction regarding the multiplication of the singular and the imaginary singularity of the plural. This understanding of singularity, with a framework composed of a sterile, simplified abstract form that has almost left its natural references behind, is linked to the chain relation of the basic modular unit to other, reproduced modules based on its form.
Within the whole there rests a massive singularity as a founding element, for certain, but this singularity is also the whole itself. A gaze at the whole is sufficient to reveal it. This gaze is also the shortest cut to see the design itself that exhibits its own full development from start to finish.
Al Baseera is the artist’s first interpretation of Islamic geometric patterns. The title of this series Al Baseera is derived from the Arabic word ‘basar’ which means looking as well as seeing through something whether an object, an event or an idea. In this exhibition, Harb invites the viewer to look deeply and reflectively, to admire ‘art for arts sake’ to immerse oneself in the series of paintings that celebrate the aesthetics of geometry. Here, there are no overarching themes of suffering. In contrast to works that explore human conditions of loss and oppression, in Al Baseera, the visitor transcends the present to engage in a contemplative Sufi interpretation of geometrical abstraction.
According to Harb, Al Baseerah “… is a journey to challenge myself to seek a deeper understanding of Islamic art and its dialogue with abstraction.” The outcome is this outstanding exhibition that offers a rich visual experience.