CV - Alia Zaal

Opening on March 2nd, 2022 from 6.30 - 9.00pm
Exhibition from March 2nd to April 30th, 2022
At Foundry Downtown, Dubai (UAE)

“I Saw Time Passing (I)” is a solo exhibition by Alia Zaal that showcases artworks produced during her ongoing residency in the former house of the master of Impressionism, Claude Monet, in Vétheuil (France). During the first phase of her residency, the artist continued her research on the scientific and neurological aspects of eyesight in relation to art; an interest that she began to explore and study to better understand the eyesight of her father Zaal whose drawings have fascinated her since her childhood. She combines different processes of image-recording such as photography, film, and drawing with ‘plein-air painting’, in the manner of Modernist painters from Cézanne to Monet. Responding to Impressionism, Alia Zaal studies the natural landscapes of Vétheuil, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai, both in their natural and artificial ecosystems. Thereby, the artist reimagines familiar sceneries of the sea, the desert, and the city lit by the sun, the moon, and street lights.

Vétheuil (close-up), 2022

“I Saw Time Passing (I)” displays a selection of a new body of work presenting landscapes in formats and viewpoints that are carefully selected based on the artist’s ongoing study of painting and its process and methodology. Alia Zaal’s interest in the action and process of painting drove her to introduce new ways of depicting her native landscape. As opposed to the common blue and beige landscapes of the sea and the desert, the artist sheds light on the greenery of her hometown; a color seldom associated to the landscape of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. To steer away from the stereotypical iconography of the Emirates, Alia Zaal selects the Ghaf tree and the Mangroves as the main subject of her paintings, focusing on the visual aesthetics of these trees that are very rich in their formal characteristics. Her subtle and unconventional framing reveals an overlooked beauty that she had the urge to celebrate.

Abu Dhabi's mangroves, by Alia Zaal