Sawsan Al Bahar winner of the Massimiliano Galliani Prize

ArtVerona, 2022
Cultural association artMacs
Municipality of Montecchio Emilia
Awarded ex aequo to:
on the occasion of
ArtVerona, October 15, 2022
Given the high quality of the proposals received on the occasion of the 17th edition of ArtVerona, the artMacs Cultural Association and the Municipality of Montecchio Emilia have chosen to award ex aequo the "Massimiliano Galliani Prize for drawing under 35" to artists Sawsan Al Bahar and Chiara Calore, represented at the fair by Firetti Contemporary and Galleria Giovanni Bonelli, respectively.
Dedicated to the artist Massimiliano Galliani, who passed away in 2020 at the age of just 37, the Prize is the result of a collaboration between the artMacs Cultural Association, the Municipality of Montecchio Emilia and the art fair ArtVerona, which have embraced the Galliani family's desire to turn a painful bereavement into an opportunity for young artists in Italy and around the world.
The works of Sawsan Al Bahar and Chiara Calore were selected by a professional jury composed of Omar Galliani, artist and member of the artMacs Cultural Association, Fausto Torelli, Mayor of the Municipality of Montecchio Emilia with delegation to Culture, Gianluca Marziani, curator and art critic, Vanni Cuoghi, artist and lecturer at the Aldo Galli Academy in Como, and Eleonora Frattarolo, professor of Cultural and Environmental Heritage at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna and member of the Scientific Committee of the Biennale del Disegno di Rimini.
The motivation reads, "The two artists highlight spaces of sensitive cultural dialogue along human realities that interpenetrate in the metaphysical silence of drawing, finding that fatal energetic balance between geographical distance and moral closeness. On the one hand, the European West of Chiara Calore with its fusion hybridizations, molecular aggregates between primitivism and contemporary cosmetics, in the cathartic canon of an archetypal yet futuristic gaze; on the other hand, the Middle East of Sawsan Al Bahar with the stable codes of a domestic intimism that becomes a yardstick of universal belonging, beyond any political and religious moralism, reaffirming that freedom of entropic gaze on the world that accompanies the vaporous nature of the work. An ex aequo prize that becomes an iconographic embrace in the sign of a cultural empathy between young women artists of a motivated generation, ready for new social awareness, attentive to the technological canon without forgetting the iconographic roots of the image, privileging a drawing that returns, with urgency and method, to the center of the cultural chessboard."
The winning works will be purchased by the artMacs Cultural Association and the Municipality of Montecchio Emilia, which joins artMacs in both the process of recognizing memory and supporting new talent. The municipality will also organize in 2023 a bi-personal exhibition of the artists in the spaces of Casa Cavezzi in Montecchio Emilia (RE), a 15th-century palace a few steps from Massimiliano Galliani's atelier.
Winner of the first edition of the "Massimiliano Galliani Award for Drawing under 35" was the young Mexican artist Fernanda Carrillo, represented in Italy by A Pick Art Gallery in Turin. A guest of the City of Montecchio Emilia, the artist worked on the production of some original works exhibited in the solo exhibition "Dear Universe," opening at Casa Cavezzi in the spring of 2022.
Sawsan Al Bahar, born in Damascus and raised in the United Arab Emirates, is an artist, architect and researcher based in Dubai. She investigates the discrete ways in which history influences personal narratives, recreating domestic myth within graphite works on paper, digital scans and text. Drawing is the basis of his work; he uses digital scanning to represent an absent homeland. His drawings are poetic interweavings at the intersection of past and future, evoking an intimate image of the past and highlighting to the viewer the tension between the real and the imaginary. Al Bahar has also participated in numerous exhibitions in international galleries including "Speculative Links" at Art Dubai (Dubai, 2022), "Ghost Catcher" at Luxembourg Pavilion Expo 2020 (Dubai, 2022), "Community & Critique" at Art Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi, 2016), "Wra'a Al-Zaman" at Abu Dhabi Music & Art Foundation (Abu Dhabi, 2015), Sikka Art Fair (2015, Dubai) and Made in Tashkeel (2015, Dubai). Her first solo exhibition, "Talaliya," was presented by Firetti Contemporary (Dubai, UAE) in 2022.
Chiara Calore (Abano Terme, 1994), lives and works in Venice. She was a fellow at the Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation in Venice (2018-19). Her work has been exhibited in numerous Italian galleries and museums, among them personal exhibitions: "Private Mythologies" (with Giuseppe Gonella), Galleria Giovanni Bonelli, Pietrasanta (2021); "Locus Amoenus" and "Genesis" at Villa Draghi in Montegrotto Terme (2019). Group exhibitions include: "Attraverso lo specchio," Cellar Contemporary, Trento (2022); "Salon Palermo2," Galleria Rizzuto, Palermo (2022); "Danae Revisited," Fondazione Fabbri, Pieve di Soligo (2019); "Milano Vetro" at Castello Sforzesco in Milan; "Opera viva" at Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa Venice (2019); "High Density" at Magazzini del Sale in Venice (2018); "Premio Mestre di Pittura" at Centro Culturale Candiani in Mestre (2018); "Laboratorio aperto" at Forte Marghera, Venice Mestre (2017); "Biennale Giovani Trento," Gallerie di Piedicastello, Fondazione Museo Storico del Trentino, Trento (2012). His first solo exhibition in Milan at Giovanni Bonelli Gallery entitled "Crossing Views," curated by Carlo Sala, is currently under way.
The artMacs cultural association was founded in Montecchio Emilia in December 2020 by Massimiliano Galliani's family to protect and promote his research. At its headquarters in Via Vittorio Veneto in Montecchio Emilia (Re), an important part of his work is collected, accessible to the public on the occasion of the periodic exhibition of his works and for the consultation of videos, books and catalogs that illustrate the artist's path in relation to the historical context in which he is inserted. The association will also promote temporary exhibitions aimed primarily at youth artistic research in the field of drawing, as well as workshops, cultural meetings and presentations of books and magazines.
October 16, 2022