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Sherin Guirguis - Projects - Luis De Jesus Los Angeles

Sherin Guirguis
Untitled (Pyramid), 2011
Watercolor, ink and silverleaf on paper
37.5 x 45.75 in

Artists belonging to the Arab diaspora in the United States have contributed to the development of American art since the early twentieth century, yet the story of this artistic community has rarely been considered. Converging Lines: Tracing the Artistic Lineage of the Arab Diaspora in the U.S. seeks to shed  light on this history by identifying some of the aesthetic threads that connect a diverse, multigenerational group of artists, thus offering a template for future scholarship. 

One of the most prominent themes explored by Arab American and U.S-based Arab artists over the last seventy-five years has been the process of migration and the state of in-betweenness that often results. Beginning with the work of Kahlil Gibran, a member of the earliest known Arab American creative community, the exhibition explores how artists have used concepts like third spaces, community building, hybridity, and memory formation in works that allude to the complexities of migration, including invisibility, alienation, intergenerational trauma, and changing identities. 

Aesthetics have been crucial to forming this distinct view of American life, as ongoing experimentation has allowed artists to address evolving communities in the U.S. and beyond. From mystical, symbolist drawings to disorientating mixed-media objects, the featured works range from reflections of longing and introspection to calls for new ways of seeing and cultural rebellion. In this sense, Converging Lines traces the artistic lineage of shape-shifting artists who have embraced subjectivity as a way of claiming their place in American art and subverting dominant narratives.     

View Middle East Institute Gallery

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