Exhibition
14 November 2022–5 January 2023

Dwelling in the Gap

by Shaikha Al Mazrou

14 November 2022–5 January 2023 | Part of Alserkal Art Week

Lawrie Shabibi is pleased to present Dwelling in the Gap by Shaikha Al Mazrou (b. 1988, UAE), her second solo at the gallery. The exhibition comes hot on the heels of her participation at Frieze Sculpture 2022 in Regents Park, London, with her major new artwork Red Stack (2022).

Starts 14 November 2022

Ends 5 January 2023

Venue Lawrie Shabibi

Warehouse 21

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Lawrie Shabibi is pleased to present Dwelling in the Gap by Shaikha Al Mazrou (b. 1988, UAE), her second solo at the gallery. The exhibition comes hot on the heels of her participation at Frieze Sculpture 2022 in Regents Park, London, with her major new artwork Red Stack (2022).

Al Mazrou’s practice is an expression of tension, weight and space, borrowing from conceptual art and geometric abstraction, and formally from minimalism. Her work dwells and drifts in the spaces between substance, transmutation, and deception. In her latest sculptures and works on paper, materials appear to betray their functions and their fixed properties, shapes and angles connect and then release into mysteries. Al Mazrou pushes her materials to see what they will yield, but ultimately must also listen to their message and possibly even accept their secrecy. It is in this space of uncertainty and communion - between artist and material, between artwork and viewer - that one finds the gap that is central to the creative process.

In Dwelling in the Gap Al Mazrou presents seven new steel sculptures that are partially inspired by the properties and possibilities of folded and creased paper, transmuted into stainless steel. Inflated and folded, they resemble giant displays of origami, the shapes of which are drawn from actual A4 paper prototypes created by the artist. Al Mazrou’s sculptures are expressions of materiality - articulations of tension and the interplay between form and content. Central to her practice is her irreverent use of material and its apparent contradictions, using durable materials that are made to resemble something soft, pliable or ephemeral.

Al Mazrou’s new sculptures and works on paper emerge from a similar action of laser-cutting and piecing shapes together. Yet they also contain opposing systems of compression and expansion: the works on paper utilize laminates created from flattening together multiple layers, while the sculptures ultimately result from a process of air pumped into the steel. And if the works on paper materialize solely from the imagination, the fabrication of the sculptures is only made possible through reference to their small-scale paper prototypes. Through the intermingling of flat and rounded surfaces, rising and descending folds, and empty spaces, Al Mazrou gives us an art of becoming. As we join her in the gap, we enter into connection with playful mysteries, and then emerge with our own possible re-formings.


NOTE: Some text is adapted from an original essay by Terri Geis, commissioned by Lawrie Shabibi. Geis is an art historian and independent curator who is currently Visiting Associate Professor of Art and Art History at New York University Abu Dhabi. To quote Geis, kindly contact Lawrie Shabibi.

Detail: Shaikha Al Mazrou, Accordion Structure, 2022, Wet coated steel, 88 x 125.5 x 20 cm, Courtesy of the artist and Lawrie Shabibi, Photography by Ismail Noor of Seeing Things