1-54 COURTYARD COMMISSION: Ibrahim El-Salahi – Meditation Tree
Presented by Vigo Gallery and supported by Kamel Lazaar Foundation.
Ibrahim El-Salahi’s first sculpture project, the celebrated Tree series is inspired by the characteristics of a peculiar type of Acacia tree that grows by the banks of the Nile and acts as an ongoing investigation into the tree as body metaphor. The Haraz tree, indigenous to Sudan has unique and inspirational characteristics: ‘During the rainy season the tree is leafless, and it blossoms with freshly budding green leaves when the weather turns dry and the river flows at its lowest towards the sea. Through all, the tree remains stead-fast, silently watching over the passage of seasons and time.’ (Ibrahim El-Salahi, Tate cata-logue 2003)
At 87, El-Salahi is now widely considered as one of the most important, living African art-ists, the godfather of African and Arabic modernism. This was underscored by the depth and range of his major solo exhibition at the Tate Modern in 2013, the first retrospective given by the Tate to an artist of African birth. Since then Tate Modern, MOMA, The Art In-stitute of Chicago, The Met and Sharjah Art Foundation have added to their collections.