In his large-scale mixed-media works, Abdulkarim Majdal Al-Beik transforms unconventional materials such as charcoal, plaster, starch, ash, and burlap into evocative mediums that reproduce the patina of imbued surfaces. Basing his ‘combine paintings’ on the weathered layers of graffiti, markings, and cracks that can be found on the exterior surfaces of public spaces, he seeks to explore how such understated facets can serve as records of the oscillation of society over time. Replicating the outer textures, colours, and shapes of deteriorating facades, Majdal Al-Beik excavates the buried traces of past lives, passages that situate cities as reluctant witnesses.
With the start of the war in Syria, Majdal Al-Beik’s practice has reflected greater usage of assemblage through the addition of found objects such as small crosses, fabric strips, string, guns, and knives in order to communicate the stark circumstances of life under conflict. His more recent works include a series of conceptual sculptures and installations alongside paintings and photographs as part of the larger series Postponed Democracy (2014).
Born in a small village on the outskirts of Al-Hasakah, Syria in 1973, Abdul Karim Majdal Al-Beik trained at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Damascus. His works are housed in public and private collections throughout the Middle East and Europe and he has been the recipient of several awards, including those from the Latakia Biennale and the Shabab Ayyam competition for emerging artists. Selected solo and group exhibitions include Ayyam Gallery London (2014); Ayyam Gallery Al Quoz, Dubai (2014); Ayyam Gallery DIFC, Dubai (2014, 2013); Ayyam Projects, Beirut (2014); Ayyam Gallery Beirut (2014, 2012); Ayyam Gallery Damascus (2008); National Museum of Aleppo (2006); Tehran Biennale for Art in the Islamic World (2005); UNESCO Palace, Beirut (2001); and the British Council, Damascus (2000).C.V
Abdulkarim Majdal Al-Beik (Syria, b. 1973)Education
1998 BA Fine Art, Faculty of Fine Arts, Damascus, Syria
2001 Postgraduate Diploma in Painting, Faculty of Fine Arts, Damascus,
SyriaSelected Solo Exhibitions
2015 A heart on a wall, ayyam Gallery, DIFC, Dubai, UAE
2014 Postponed Democracy, Ayyam Projects, Beirut, Lebanon
2013 Against the Wall II, Ayyam Gallery, DIFC, Dubai, UAE
2012 Against the Wall, Ayyam Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
2009 Wall Speak, Ayyam Gallery, Al Quoz, Dubai, UAE
2008 Ayyam Gallery, Damascus, Syria
2005 Cultural Club of Shell Company, Damascus, Syria
2001 Al-Sayed Gallery, Damascus, Syria
1998 Arab Cultural Center, Hassakeh, SyriaSelected Group Exhibition
2019 Dual exhibition, Contemporary painting from Berlin, Galerie im Tempelhof Museum ,Berlin, Germany.
2018 From Damascus to Berlin , Berlin Artists Connected , Berlin , Germany
2017 A journey of Belonging , Contemporary Arts Alliance Berlin ( CAA Berlin ) ,Bikini Berlin.
2017 Mosaik Syrien “ collective “ exhibition gut Altenkamp museum , Papenburg , Germany .
2017 Funun festival , Syrian culture in Bremen , Germany .
2016 Funun festival , Syrian culture in Bremen, Germany .
2016 transfer syrien ,Europaisches kunstlerhaus oberbayern , munchen , Germany .
2015 Syria Of Frame, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, Italy
2014 Syria’s Apex Generation, Ayyam Gallery, Dubai, UAE; Ayyam Gallery,
London, UK (Curator: Maymanah Farhat)
R-evolution, Ayyam Gallery, Al Quoz, Dubai, UAE
Et pourtant ils créent ! (Syrie : la foi dans l'art)/Despite it all they make
art! (Syria: Having faith in the Arts), Institut des Cultures d’Islam, Paris,
Fluid Forms II, Samsung Blue Square, Seoul, South Korea; Busan
Museum of Art, Busan, South Korea (Curator: Yu Yeon Kim)
Contemporary Uprising: Art from the Middle East, Nest Gallery,
2013 R-evolution, Ayyam Gallery, Al Quoz, Dubai, UAE
2012 Melting Pot, Ayyam Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
2011 Selections from The Samawi Private Collection, Ayyam Gallery, Al
Quoz, Dubai, UAE
2009 Buried in Tradition/ My World/ Walls Speak, Ayyam Gallery, Al Quoz,
2008 Contemporary Syria – Damascus and Dubai, Ayyam Gallery,
2008 Mark Hachem Gallery, New York, USA
Tales of Heritage, Latakia Museum, Latakia, Syria
2007 Summer Festival, Ayyam Gallery, Damascus, Syria
2006 Al-Sayed Art Gallery, Damascus, Syria
Kalimat House Exhibition, National Museum of Aleppo, Aleppo, Syria
Al-Khanji Gallery, Aleppo, Syria
2005 The National Red Museum, Sulaymaniyah, Iraq
3rd International Biennial of the Islamic World, Tehran, Iran
2003 The French Cultural Center, Damascus, Syria
2002 Zara Gallery, Amman, Jordan
French Cultural Center, Damascus, Syria
2001 UNESCO Palace, Beirut, Lebanon
6 Creative Experiences, Al-Mada House of Culture & Art, Damascus,
SyriaResidencies and Workshops
2017 Workshop , Contemporary Arts Alliance Berlin ( CAA Berlin ) ,Bikini Berlin.
2017 Workshop, Berlin Artists Connected , Berlin , Germany.
2016 Residencie, europaisches kunstlerhaus oberbayern , munchen , Germany
2012 Workshop, Ayyam Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon.
2011 Workshop, Ayyam Gallery, Damascus, Syria .Awards
2007 Second Prize, the First Ayyam Prize for Emerging Syrian Artists,
Ayyam Gallery, Damascus, Syria
2003 Silver Award, Biennale El-Mahaba, Latakia, Syria
2001 First Award, Syrian Youth Exhibition, Damascus, Syria
2000 First Award, Mirror of Syrian-British Cooperation, British Council,
2014 Book Launch, Syria’s Apex Generation, moderated by Maymanah
Farhat, Ayyam Gallery, Beirut, LebanonPublications
2014 Syria Apex Generation, Edited by Maymanah Farhat, Ayyam Gallery,
2013 Syrie: l’art en armes, Paris, France (Author: Jacques Mandelbaum)
2013 Abdul karim majdal Al-beik,( Against the Wall), Ayyam Gallery, Dubai (DIFC ) .
2008 Abdul Karim Majdal Al-Beik, Ayyam Gallery, Dubai, UAE (Author: