Green Art Gallery presents Acid Fields, a solo show by Lebanese artist Shawki Youssef.
Working predominantly on paper, but also on canvas, Youssef‘s practice is characterised by his explosive and visceral depictions of the body, often evoking the mutilated subjects found in Francis Bacon’s paintings. Disembodied limbs, embracing torsos and explosive fragments, are constantly in a state of ﬂux, illustrating the e!ects that disease, war, love and lust, have on the collective. Acting as a diary and archive of what it means to be a body living in the Middle East, Youssef’s anonymous bodies depict the manifestation of emotional trauma externalized.
In the ﬁnal installment of work presented in Acid Fields, Youssef’s bodies have taken an abstract turn, appearing eerily stagnant and jagged. The ﬂuidity of movement so characteristic of his two previous series, appears to have been replaced by the harsher geometry of bone and limb. The violent civil war in Syria, with its reverberations in the entire region, but mostly so in his native homeland, has taken its toll. This absence of a clear and centralized human form not only reﬂects the artist’s struggle to depict the extent of the emotional repercussions of these growing social wounds, but also creates a map of small spaces, which invite the viewer to trace, decipher, and ﬁnd meaning alongside him.