Huda Lutfi|Zan’it Al-Sittat|The Sultan Gallery

it's interesting to me how this gesture has totally different meaning when facing outwards (resigned, tired, dead) than inwards (impatient, anticipating, alive). i have a love affair with hands, so you can imagine my delight at seeing and interacting with this installation

I can’t believe it took me this long to finally make it to Huda Lutfi’s exhibition Zan’it Al-Sittat. Honestly, I just forgot and remembered late last week that this jewel existed in the midst of Sabhan’s warehouses and factories. I walked into the gallery and squeaked with delight (I think I may have even quietly applauded). Moldings of hands, busts, bottles and shoes interspersed between two-dimensional collages of warm-colored, antiquated paintings. The lay-out, of which I heard second-hand that the artist herself thought was sparse, was actually quite neat, and to quote Goldilocks, ‘Juuust right’.

Now, for a little note of clarification: this is not a review. I’m not a writer/critic/journalist. I’m just someone who has my opinions and enjoys voicing them. A few days ago I had some pretty scathing commentary on one of my ‘reviews‘. These comments were designed to insult my work, depth of knowledge and (for some reason, most offensively) vocabulary, without submitting a single constructive bit of enlightenment to me or my guests. But I still felt that I should take the comments as a lesson for the future, because under all this person’s anger, he/she made some valid points. I decided to be, from now on, more prepared and knowledgable of the exhibitions I attend. So today I actually read through a press release by The Third Line Gallery, who represents Huda Lutfi. Did it help me appreciate Lutfi’s work more? Absolutely not. No body of writing can replace the carnal feeling I got in my gut when I saw her work. Maybe it helped me understand where she’s coming from, but not how I feel. So lesson taken, applied, failed and discarded

i love the repetition here. it's a recurring aspect of lutfi's work, an aspect i find quite mesmerizing, just like the belly dancer in this painting

chests up, ladies. whether geese flying south for the winter or an f-4 phantom jet formation, these busts mean business. i love that lutfi has taken these found objects and made them her own, or 're-contextualized them' (for the art-school snobs). let me side-track here, i've said it before and i'll say it again: i'm not too keen on any sort of jargon. i believe in sticking to the vernacular. so when someone starts to use words like 'juxtaposition' and 'manipulation', i gag. this work is entitled 'i speak to you so you may understand', 2008, 13 painted recycled paper and text on resin

offering the silver hand, 2008, 19 synthetic resin hands, silver paint and text

let me help you. god i wish i could touch these. they were very tantalizing

This exhibition is up until May 19th. That’s this Thursday. Let me say one final thing: so many people are discouraged to go to The Sultan Gallery because of its location and distance from many suburban areas. But think of it like you’re going to the airport; they’re not that far apart and at the end of your long (but mostly traffic-free) drive, this gallery-with these works-is waiting for you.

2 Comments on “Huda Lutfi|Zan’it Al-Sittat|The Sultan Gallery”

  1. I wouldn’t pay too much attention to Gardoony. He might very well know his ‘stuff’ but he has obviously got an ax to grind somewhere, plus his delivery is vulgar, insulting, and leaves a lot to be desired. I enjoy your writing. I don’t always agree with what you write, but part of the enjoyment comes from my not agreeing. However you are always honest and impassioned. We need more people to deliver their views with similar honesty.

    • I do agree with you that delivery is key and I like to maintain some sort of decorum on this blog (if not always in my personal life!). This person somehow got a link to my post and used it as his personal soapbox. And ultimately, the only one who looked like a fool was he.

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