Tell Me More

Rajaa Gharbi
West and North Galleries
March 7 – 30, 2019

Tell Me MoreExhibition of paintings and an interactive installation

We exist and experience life in many realms, including those of visual languages, and in the world’s remaining 6000 or 7000 spoken languages– California still has 400 of them, and the US courtrooms alone utilize more than 250 tongues.

Since childhood I have painted to communicate and to “travel through time” and “space”. Color and language have always helped me cross real or fictional boundaries. 

This exhibition is the smallest version (10%) of a seven part interactive multimedia exhibition intended for a later museum presentation.

For the last 25 years, my work as a painter has involved the use of the written letter as a “painting brush”, almost never as actual or suggested text. In this exhibition, along with relevant acrylic paintings, I use the actual written word, including poetry, prose and “celestial” texts printed on parchment paper, as elements of a six foot tall installation work that I strongly encourage you to participate in. I utilize a number of my acrylic personal but somewhat surrealistic style paintings and their titles to create a short “conversation” with Pavel Filonov (1883-1941, possibly more relevant as a leader of international modernist art than even Kandinsky). I pair the titles of some of my paintings with titles of paintings by Pavel Filonov that I have seen and studied during a five week long art residency I had in Russia. The paired painting titles take on a fictional form of questions and answers which in turn ask more questions.

My paintings are never about just one or two themes. As an artist, technique for technique alone leaves me really starving for a deeper connection to art wherever it comes from. What I want and work for in my paintings or any other media I have used is to let the invisible soul of all aspects of the human or other life take form and become “visible” in and through my own artwork.

Extending the conversation to you the viewer, the exhibition title installation Tell Me More is where this conversation can expand, at the gallery and outside it.

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Gallery 110’s mission is to provide dynamic opportunities to established and emerging professional artists in an environment that encourages creative expression, experimentation, and collaboration. As a nonprofit organization, the gallery fosters artistic and professional connections between its associated artists and the arts community at large through creative dialogue, the presentation of challenging and enriching curated exhibitions, public opportunities, and collaborative projects.