• Dana Awartani

Infinite Present: Revelations from Islamic Design in Contemporary Art

Infinite Present: Revelations from Islamic Design in Contemporary Art

Infinite Present: Revelations from Islamic Design in Contemporary Art on view at Cambridge Arts Gallery 344 Through November 30.

I was excited to explore the current exhibition of Islamic design in contemporary art on view at Cambridge Arts Gallery 344 through November 30. The show, which features work by 13 artists from around the world, includes a wide array of styles and media.

Exhibition curator, Marie Costello, says “The beauty of Islamic design became fixed in my mind while studying medieval art in graduate school. As a curator, my focus has been on contemporary art, so for Infinite Present, I sought current artists who used Islamic design motifs and was totally seduced by the variety and complexity of what I found.”

Palestinian-Saudi artist, Dana Awartani, has several drawings in the show - see lead image in this story - that are part of a series of sculptures and drawings based on the Platonic Solids, an ancient study of shapes based on Euclidean geometry.

According to Awartani’s artist statement, ‘In her finely wrought series, Awartani reveals and revels in the codified systems of Islamic geometry. She maps such systems, exploring how these diverse artistic disciplines hail from broad religious and cultural contexts. In doing so, she extrapolates a perennial divine philosophy which is embedded in these practices. In the revelation of these processes, she engages with the meditative allure of the form’s purity, deconstructing contemporary systems which have become loaded with faulty power. In Awartani’s skilled practice, Islamic geometry’s active capacity for divine connection becomes an infinitely contemporary and entirely timeless act.’

Marie Costello comments “By combining traditions of the past in calligraphy, architecture and ceramics with cutting-edge concepts, these artists explore the edge between the literal and abstract, the concrete and the mystical and, at times explore the political. Not only do these artists carve out a new territory in abstraction, but they challenge preconceived ideas about these motifs. For the viewer, they resonate historically, but are also tied to themes of deconstruction, geopolitics, and aesthetics in today’s world. I invite everyone to experience this provocative art!”

Cambridge Arts Gallery 344
City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 2nd Floor

Gallery Hours:
Monday 8:30am - 8:00pm
Tuesday - Thursday 8:30am - 5:00pm
Friday 8:30am - 12:00pm
Saturday - Sunday closed