The Schleswig-Holsteinischer Kunstverein is showing a temporary installation by the Syrian artist Khaled al Khani (b. 1975) which was especially made for the space in the Kunsthalle zu Kiel.
Khaled al Khani studied painting in Hama and Damascus. In 2011 he fled from Syria and is now living in exile in Paris. The artwork he has created for the Kunstverein with the title The Beginning is Khaled al Khani’s first museum presentation in Europe. It draws on the existential experiences of the artist in his homeland, the Syrian civil war and his hopes for a future of peace.
Like many of the paintings of the artist, the mural in the Kunsthalle zu Kiel depicts the adumbrations of groups of people against a light background. The faces of the figures are only vaguely defined. Al Khani’s expressive and figurative painting style encompasses the entire walls of the room as well as most of the ceiling. At many points it oscillates between figuration and abstraction. Painting with acrylics directly on the wall, the artist has created a space that allows beholders to individually experience and interpret what is depicted in the installation: in their perception inside and outside, the past and the future merge. Only an oval in the middle of the ceiling has been left unpainted. This compositional device opens up the pictorial space into a realm above, and alludes once again to the title of the installation.
At work in the Kunsthalle (Photo Gallery)