KSA/LAX took place in a warehouse at 820 Sante Fe Avenue, Downtown Los Angeles Arts District, where media and the public were invited to enjoy an immersive exhibition of large scale paintings, live performances and animated projections, virtual reality and video by a new generation of Saudi artists and designers. The event offered a unique perspective on ancient art forms, exploring traditional themes and aesthetics in a 21st century context.
Works by two generations of Saudi artists demonstrated the contemporary significance of traditional art forms. Through experimentations in paint, sound, animation, VR and video, the exhibition explored tradition, innovation and enduring shared aesthetics.
As Paul Cezanne famously said, ‘everything in nature adheres to the cone, the cylinder, and the cube’, and while western artists rediscovered geometric abstraction at the turn of the last century, artists of the Arab world have explored the potent perfection of geometry for millennia, leading the way with cutting-edge reinterpretations of this perennial art form.
Abiding Al-Qatt Al-Asiri set the scene. The collective creative expression sustaining these cross-generational murals echoes the approach of young pioneers collaborating with their cultural histories. Uniting the past and future, these vital 21st-century innovators preserve cultural identity as they realize vibrant works charged with the currents of fascinating social change.
Central to the exhibition was the work of Jeddah-born abstract artist Abdullah Qandeel, who uses bold line and color to illustrate the coalescing of Saudi traditional norms and the vastly changing cultural landscape of the Arab world.
Misk Art Institute is a new artist-centered cultural organisation operating under the auspices of the Misk Foundation, established by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Led by Saudi artist, Ahmed Mater, the Institute was established in 2017 to encourage grassroots artistic production in Saudi Arabia, nurture the appreciation of Saudi and Arab art and enable international cultural diplomacy and exchange.
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