Hashim Hannoon: City Life
Madrona Gallery, Victoria, BC
MADRONA GALLERY, Victoria BC - Jun 8 - 22
by Christine Clark
Vancouver-based painter Hashim Hannoon returns to Victoria for the first time since 2016. City Life, his second solo exhibition at Madrona Gallery, is a collection of 20 new acrylic paintings on canvas, paper and board. Frequently described as an abstract expressionist, Hannoon creates paintings that are colourful, soft and highly decorative. He says, “The upcoming exhibition will be about drawing the cities I loved and stayed in. There are scenes from … Vancouver and Victoria, and some of the scenes [are] of parks and beautiful nature, which draw on the aesthetics of colour and simplify the shapes and make the viewer feel the aesthetic value of these cities.”
Hannoon’s paintings always seem to convey a charming sense of whimsy, even in his darkest works, some of which are disturbingly toned in black or muddy brown. In a 2016 painting, Black Forest, for instance, tiers of grey and black clouds hold delicate forest scenes while wide-eyed crows rummage around near the bottom of the image. All around bubbles of bright colours drift and pop, giving the impression that even on the darkest days the sunshine will always come peeking through.
Hannoon is an Iraqi-Canadian artist. He was born in the ancient city of Basrah in 1957 and graduated from the Institute of Fine Arts in Iraq’s capital city, Baghdad. Hannoon later earned a bachelor’s degree in sculpture from the College of Fine Arts, University of Baghdad. He has exhibited widely, including in Kuwait, Iraq, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Italy and Austria.
Opening reception June 8, 1-4 pm