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Emna Zghal, Against Reason

Miyako Yoshinaga Art Prospects
547 West 27th Street, 2nd Floor, 212-268-7132
December 11, 2008 - January 17, 2009
Reception: Thursday, December 11, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

M.Y. ART PROSPECTS is pleased to present Against Reason, a solo exhibition by Emna Zghal.

Against Reason features Zghal’s latest oil paintings with a smaller selection of prints and watercolors. Drawn from lyrical forms found in nature, she uses a wide spectrum of tones and minute strokes to create highly conceptual, abstract pieces. Turning away from contemporary conventions, she rigorously pursues her idiosyncratic themes of abandonment, lostness, and bewilderment.

Zghal is moved by the brilliant colors of a garden, the subdued beauty of a forest, the reflections within moving water. Her work brings to mind the abstractions of Lee Krasner and Joan Mitchell, particularly in her use of repetitive, swirling strokes with careful but unstrained release of color.

It had to be contained and subordinated like a woman. Colour was a permanent internal threat, and an ever-present inner other which, if unleashed, would be the ruin of everything, the fall of culture. David Batchelor- Chromophobia

Stimulated by the controversial “chromophobia” theory, Zghal Zghal emphasizes the “sheer truth” in color over design, in a world where color comes second to drawings and concepts. These pieces are about the sensory experience of color as yet undefined, present right now, not within the confines of pre-existing conventions of design. Although this is precisely the implication of her chosen title, Against Reason, there is an underlying theme of embracing bewilderment over certitude.

Always linked to nature, Zghal’s keen interest in femininity, poetry, politics, and her Arab-African heritage help to take her into new horizons in these color abstract painting

Born in 1972 in Tunisia, Emna Zghal studied at the Ecole Des Beaux Arts in Tunis. In 1999, she earned an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia.

After less than a decade in New York City, she has distinguished herself both in personal achievement and social commitment. Last year, she was awarded the Purchase Prize by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Zghal and Michel Rakowitz are 2008 Creative Capitol visual art grantees for their project Dark Turquoise, which initiates a series of public craft workshops seeking to reproduce recently lost, stolen, or destroyed Iraqi artifacts using traditional American Indian techniques.

Since 1993, Zghal has held solo exhibitions in Tunisia, the U.S., France, and Germany, and most recently Tree of My Mind at M.Y. Art Prospects, New York. Her work is currently on view in a group exhibition Utopian Visions at the Arab-American National Museum, in Dearborn, Michigan.

Her work is represented by the Museum For African Art, NY; Flint Institute of Arts, MI; Rochester Institute of Technology, NY; New York Public Library, NY; Yale University, CT among others.
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