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Installation view of Green Art Gallery, Dubai at FIAC, Paris, 2018

Installation view of Green Art Gallery, Dubai at FIAC, Paris, 2018

Installation view of Green Art Gallery, Dubai at FIAC, Paris, 2018

Installation view of Green Art Gallery, Dubai at FIAC, Paris, 2018

Press Release

FIAC -  - Art Fairs - Green . Art . Gallery

Ana Mazzei, Ville (detail), 2018

For FIAC 2018, Green Art Gallery is pleased to present a dialogue between Lebanese artist Chaouki Choukini (b.1946, lives and works in Paris) and Brazilian Ana Mazzei (b.1980, lives and works in Sao Paolo).

While spanning different geographies and generations, what unites the works of Choukini and Mazzei is a mutual interest in material – and, more importantly, the placement of that material within space.

Fresh from a residency in Paris at La Galerie CAC in Noisy-le-Sec, Ana Mazzei’s work is defined by the tensions and links found within the relationship of humankind and history (whether these be historical fragments, fiction or even myth). As such, Mazzei’s work hovers between being and non-being – that is, physical works and objects that both question, as well as occupy, a given area. Her wide-ranging sculptures and installations examine dimension, proportion, symmetry and texture. As such, they often evoke architectural landscapes or masterplans.

What defines Mazzei’s work in particular is a dialogue between the viewer and the piece – their relationship with each object, but also the way in which we, as observers, navigate the physical area around them. It is here that her work resonates so strongly with that of Chaouki Choukini. Beyond the superficial similarities of long, elongated shapes, refined surfaces and an interest in the possibilities of material, both are intrigued by this exploration of something versus nothing.

For Choukini, this is found in a masterfully sustained tension: between corner and edges, form and function, positive and negative space. Each carved piece of wood exists in a delicately balanced dance, an exquisite counterpoint. In crafting each sculpture – at times reminiscent of cityscapes, mountains, or even cuboid Arabic script folded in on itself – the destruction of the wood in its removal leads to the creation of light. As light shines through where once was wood, it becomes an integral part of the sculpture, as important a medium as the wood itself. Like Mazzei’s sculptures, Choukini’s works challenge our very relationship with their environment, at once separate and a part of the very air itself.

An extra dimension to this spatial world is created through the accompaniment of a series of paintings by Mazzei. In vinyl and tempera on linen, fantastical cityscapes, buildings and vistas burst forth in rainbow colours – the range of flowing, natural shapes, from the figural to the abstract, creates a labyrinth of ideas: drafts, even recipes, a thought cloud of what might be to come, the gaps between them representative of gaps of thought, allowing ideas to circulate freely through them.

With diverse influences and different backgrounds – from historical narratives to Cubist overtones and even Japanese minimalism, what bonds Choukini and Mazzei is a tender love of the material at hand. The names of wood roll off the tongue like a poem – walnut, Chene oak, Iroko, Acajou, or mahogany – and contrast with the softness of languid brushes of paint and linen, a perfect exploration of space, balance and tension.

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