Bombon presents SA MUE, the first solo exhibition of the artist Marie Zolamian (Lebanon, 1975) in Barcelona.

Marie Zolamian: SA MUE
7 May - 22 June, 2024
Bombon Projects, Barcelona

Zolamian’s work navigates between the domestic family scene and the realm of dreams. Resembling a déjà vu, her paintings transport us to a dreamlike universe of hybrid creatures, faces, masks and chimerical landscapes that we seem to have known in another life. Zolamian borrows references from both Eastern and Western art history – Medieval miniatures, Persian and Armenian, the primitive Flemish, Henri Rousseau, Cézanne… - and gathers and recomposes them according to the moment, thus disintegrating the notion of affiliation and belonging to a community, bringing to the surface an imaginary territory where an iconography based on the attempt of integration appears and where relationships - sometimes discordant - are established. Between human beings and nature, memories of the individual and the collective, between tradition, separation and upheaval, between site, temporality and culture.

“Painting interests me in its archaeological dimension, where it’s not just the final image that counts, but the battles that have been fought in a reduced space, which has to find pictorial solutions whatever the cost. I love looking at icons, ex-votos and at the images that illustrated the first books after 10th century, the illuminations and the art of miniature paintings, Persian, Armenian, Indian, the Western books of prayers between the 12th and 15th centuries. With rigorous details and stylisations of complex geometries, a rectified perspective, where perspective, geometry and colour become languages.”

If we had to situate Zolamian’s work in a temporal moment, it would be that of wakefulness, between being awake and asleep, on the border with sleep. Then, a body becomes a tree and a landscape a wallpaper inhabited by symbols.

Marie Zolamian (n. 1975, Beirut (LB) lives and works in Liège (Belgium). She studied visual arts at the Royal Academy of Liège and at La Cambre in Brussels. Recent exhibitions include Some movements in the tree of life, UZ Jette, Bruselas, Belgium (2023), Untitled, Galerie Nadja Vilenne, Liège, Belgium (2019); Bienvenue, Mu.ZEE, Ostende, Belgium (2018); Paroles à Boire, Musée le Carroi, Chinon, France (2017); The Mayor of Veurne, EMERGENT, Veurne, Belgium (2015); Listen Your Eyes, Dakar Biennial of Contemporary Art, Dakar, Senegal (2014). She has participated in group exhibitions such as Tageldimde/ Middlegate 2023 Cultuurcentrum, Werft, Geel, Be (2023); Regenerate, Wiels, Brussels, Belgium, (2021), Grandchildren, Depo, Istambul, Turkey (2015), Qalandiya International, Birzeit & Abwein, Palestina (2012), Contemporary Art Biennal 2009, Parallel events, Istambul, Turkey (2009) among many others. Zolamian has several permanent installations in public spaces and institutions, most notably Welkom - Bienvenue - Welcome - Willkommen at KMSKA in Antwerp, Belgium (2022). A 76 m² mosaic of 600,000 stones at the entrance to the museum, the largest mosaic in Belgium to date.

Photo: Roberto Ruiz