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Fatima Barznge

Eröffnung: Freitag 3.2.2023, ab 18 Uhr
mit einer Performance zur Eröffnung von KATHRIN WOLKOWICZ

Ausstellung: 4.2.-18.3.2023

In this exhibition, Fatima shows a selection of works on paper and canvas inspired by the visual image of Islamic art and calligraphy. In her ongoing project Study of Square, she explores the possibilities of the square format. She experiments with different techniques and colours to create different shapes and motifs within the square format, adding her own interpretations and meanings. For example, in the Study of Square/Zamzam series, she summarised a historical religious story in a diagram that led to a series of works in which she experiments with dynamic triangle shapes within the static square. If the Cube shape represents earth and manhood, she believes the Triangle shape represents mountain and motherhood. 

Kufic/letters from alif to ya is another series that also takes centre stage in this exhibition. This series is based on 28 letters of the Arabic alphabet in the Kufic script. She painted the edges of each work using the techniques that remind her of Western painting techniques from the period from 1860 to 1965. Here she refers to the influence of European art movements on Iraqi art in the 1990s, of which she has many memories. With this approach, she also wants to bring together the relationship between her work, which is derived from Islamic art, and Western art with all its similarities and opposites.


Fatima Barznge (born 1968, Iraqi Kurdistan) now lives and works in Rotterdam.

Her practice consists of paintings, works on paper and collages. Her memories form the conceptual starting point, in which she tells and reflects on the culture of her origin. In her work, she pays attention to subjects such as tradition, religion, script, textiles and architecture. Experience in the landscape of her childhood also plays an important role.

She grew up in Aghjalar, a rural village in Iraqi Kurdistan that was completely destroyed by Saddam Hussein in 1988 during the Anfal campaign. She studied business administration in Baghdad and fled to the Netherlands in 1997 for political reasons, where she graduated cum laude from the Royal Academy of Arts (The Hague) in 2005. Her works are grouped into series ranging from abstracted figurative to completely abstract. This working method reflects her fascination with Western art on the one hand, and may also be related to the fact that she grew up with traditional Islamic art/Aniconism.

Her work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions including Stedelijk Museum Schiedam NL; Rozenstraat- a rose is a rose is a rose, Amsterdam NL; OnArte Locarno Switzerland; TENT platform for contemporary art Rotterdam NL; and gallery Sanaa Utrecht NL. Her work is in various collections including; Dutch government collection, and Stedelijk Museum Schiedam NL.

Fatima's work supported by Mondriaan Fund, The Netherlands


Opening performance and Insert by 
Kathrin Wolkowicz


Kathrin Wolkowicz's work ranges from performance, installation, objects and books to film and video and is mostly inspired by texts she has written or adapted herself. They are proposals for temporal or spatial situations that invite us to re-read our own relationships to objects and bodies; how we stay, spend our time and share space with others. For some of her recent work, the artist has swapped the studio for the street to create common ground with residents of areas affected by urban development. 


Kathrin Wolkowicz lives and works in Rotterdam. She studied at the Kunstakademie Münster and the Kunsthochschule Braunschweig and holds an MA degree in Fine Arts from the Piet Zwart Institute Rotterdam. An essential part of her practice is working in a collective, as a founding member of „Sils Projects“, programme designer for „Suburban Video Lounge“, part of the „004 collective“ and the „Borgerstraat publication collective“. Her self-published book „Re-Relating in art practice" was published in 2021. She is currently co-curator of the exhibition series „Passages-en-passant“ at the Goethe-Institut Netherlands and co-producer of the neighbourhood zine of the „W1555 collective".



Fotos: Anja Schneider and Andreas Kempe

The exhibition „On Geometry“ is the first part of the 3-part exhibition series „Interwoven Histories I-III“ by Galerie Ursula Walter. It is supported by the Stiftung Kunstfonds Bonn/ NEUSTARTplus, the Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen, the Goethe-Institut Niederlande, the Landeshauptstadt Dresden and the patrons of the Förderverein Galerie Ursula Walter e.V.

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