About his work
Beginning from an interest in the human figure - particularly faces - which opens soon enough into a visual mapping of catastrophe and oppression in the Arab world. Ahmad Kleige's signature paintings, often embedded in empty, blurry backgrounds, belong to a world fundamentally static and punctuated by political violence. From the massacres in the northern Iraqi town of Halabja, to the new realities of the Syrian civil war, the palette is gloomy and somehow alienated; the images are from a distant time, and the faces, albeit familiar, are never recognizable, they tend to break down into their own shapes, a leap into abstraction. The scenography, however, is distinctly that of war and conflict. At times there are also architectural surveys; shanty towns, refugee camps, slums. These absent landscapes seem overpopulated with haunted faces, hiding underneath the thin foil, represented by the hung laundry, sometimes even a flower. Beset by internal turmoil, personal and political, Kleige enables the political realities of a region in conflict to surface, through the face of a woman alone.
Ahmed Kleige was born in Aleppo, Syria, in 1964 and currently lives in Lebanon. As a member of the Syrian Fine Arts Union in Damascus, he graduated from Fathi Mohamed Fine Arts Center, Aleppo, in 1988. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions in Lebanon at Unesco Palace, the American University of Beirut, andthe Sursock Museum. With Galerie Janine Rubeiz, he was part of a concept “Shattered faces” in 2013. He had several solo exhibitions in Beirut at Zamaan Gallery and at the Opera House in Damascus. His work has been acquired by different private collections. His work is permanently exhibited at Galerie Janine Rubeiz.