Ahmed Alsoudani Explores Effects of War at Barbara Gladstone

The Iraqi-American artist navigates its psychological impact on society.


In Ahmed Alsoudani’s first exhibition at the Gladstone Gallery he moves away from the graphic subject matter he is known for but keeps with his theme of chaos and violence by exploring scenes preceding war, especially its psychological impact on society. “Violence and chaos goes hand-in-hand with human existence,” said the Baghdad-born artist. (See: “Iraqi-American Painter Ahmed Alsoudani Brings Chaos and Violence to Gladstone”)

Using his distinct color palette of bright hues, this new collection of paintings has some recurring characteristic symbols and figures depicting abuse. Alsoudani has left the works (and even the exhibition) untitled hoping that viewers interpret them according to their personal experiences.

The acrylic-charcoal paintings are layered with disconcerting images of mutilated creatures or ailing people. Alsoudani uses vivid eye-catching colors to capture these dark scenarios, instead of the typical grays and browns. “For me, it’s very important to break that barrier and just address it with an unexpected color palette,” he said.

The New York-based artist wants to draw attention to aspects of war that are often overlooked during these times in favor of emphasizing destruction. “I do feel that artists have a moral responsibility to look to the issues that affect us…on a daily basis.”

Ahmed Alsoudani’s paintings will be on display until December 20 at 24th St. Gladstone Gallery.

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