Samia Halaby is a contemporary Palestinian artist whose abstract art is often drawn from her interest in mechanics, engineering, and architecture. Aluminum and Steel belongs to the artist’s series “Helixes and Cycloids,” which depict abstract geometric shapes, metallic surfaces, and suggest a three-dimensional space. While working on this series, Halaby spent six months drawing helical curves, many of which she first observed in engineering books on heating pipes. Aluminum and Steel is a result of this intense study. Dynamic shapes are formed by metallic reflections, and gradients of blue, gray, and white break out of the painting’s surface, emphasizing a “continuum between volume and surface” present in the Arabic architecture Halaby studied. Thin bands of light and dark color and intersecting lines thrust helixes and cones into the viewer’s space, and make foreground and background indistinguishable.
painting; curves; geometry; shape; abstract
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