Thaier Helal (Syrian, b. 1967)
Traffic Jam
signed, dated and inscribed 'THAIER HELAL 2011 Thelal 2011 THAIER HELAL MIXED MEDIA ON CANVAS' (four times on the reverse)
acrylic, silver paint, glue and 270 plastic car toys on canvas
70 7/8 x 71in. (180 x 180.5cm.)
Executed in 2011
Sale room notice
All elements appear to be present and in working order. All cars seems to adhere well to the supporting canvas.
Examined under ultra-violet light: there is no apparent inpainting visible under ultra-violet light. It is our opinion that there are no apparent condition issues.
Catalogue illustration: The colours of the original work are slightly lighter than what is suggested in the catalogue illustration. And the metallic effect does not illustrate well.
Note: for further images of the present lot please contact a member of the Arab, Iranian and Turkish Contemporary art department in Christie's Dubai.

Lot Essay

The present lot is from the new three dimensional series by Syrian artist Thaier Helal. Helal is mostly known for his large soft pastel coloured compositions depicting repetitive movements. In his work, he juxtaposes painterly birds in all kinds of motions forming large grids and lines. He stopped this obsession for a short period of time when he produced a full collection of works with pure geometrical and prime colours in 2006. He subsequently returned to creating patterns, lines, maps and repetition, recently using soft volatile pieces of black charcoal on canvas, with pieces scattered in a measured order. An organized explosion, here he is using the same strategy of accumulation with his signature repetitive mark by installing a matched monochrome street environment where all the small plastic toy cars are set, creating a sense of an endless multipliying effect, with so many possibilities and options to follow. Is it really an open route, a freeway or a prison grid? In this austere dark humor, Helal traps us in this organized maze of endless possibilities.


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