Duration: 12 May – 14 June 2017
Anees Maani : The Shapes Of Time
The form needs emptiness to emerge, as the thought needs silence. Anees Maani has certainly learned how to see the essence of things from his homeland, Jordan, and from the desert, open and diversified, extending in all directions out of sight; of which the artist has explored countless times the vast and remote territories. Or maybe even from the precious secrets hidden in the famous archaeological site of Petra, in Jordan’s southern desert, dating to around 500 B.C., which Anees knows well.
These are the ancient and universal roots of human being that Anees sings through stone and wood; through a form that does not describe, but claims its being. The poetry of form has no boundaries and communicates to the soul deep contemplation.
Observing his sculptures we find ourselves on the edge of being lost in an unknown language primordial – even if everything is so strangely familiar. Anees allows life to completely permeate his being; he observes the paths of it, outlines its contours to contain it whole, without ever reducing life to a mere concept. He leaves free this flow to express the fullness with a disarming simplicity; what is true flows like water, effortlessly.
Anees began working with stone and bronze, in the naturally mineral-rich Middle East environment. Nowadays, as he lives surrounded by rain-forests in Malaysia, he dedicates himself to wood with great passion and curiosity. However, any material is given voice in his hands and echoes a vision in the search for something absolute, universal and free from representation.
The research that drove him into the arms of creation is above all related to relevant observations of forms in nature and how these have evolved in the space-time of distant and different cultures and environments. He then sculpted artworks being often inspired by the rock formations and the effect of the action of natural phenomena such as erosion, cracking, bending, from the observation of plants, insects; perfects symmetries and asymmetries. Of how the leaves grow on a branch or two wings of dragonfly segmenting the air…
The second important key in Anees artworks is the study of how the simple ancestral forms, originating from different geographical regions, have been able to travel through time until today almost unchanged and always charged with their mysterious power. The artefact-symbols, earliest aesthetic expressions of the human species, scattered anywhere in the world.
Like colours and sounds, the shapes are ancient elements of consciousness expression. Forms rounded or pseudo-geometric, simplified symbols of cosmic elements as the sun, full and empty, interlocking, balance, mass, weight, rhythm, etc. Anees illustrates, through his art, the dichotomy of the human experience of time, between repetition that can be problematic and limitless innovation that can be chaotic. In my opinion the artist has found a centre of balance between past and present, between archaism and modernism, reaching that universality worthy of being called art.
Artist & Curator
Merbok, Kedah Malaysia – April 2017