FRIEDMAN BENDA | NAJLA EL ZEIN | FEBRUARY 28 – APRIL 13, 2019
Friedman Benda presents “Transition”, Beirut-based designer Najla El Zein’s first solo exhibition. This marks the debut presentation of three series: Distortion, Fragmented Pillar and Seduction. Organic and gestural, these objects act as varied embodiments of El Zein’s personal journey.
Alluding to the pregnant form, Distortion illustrates various stages of the body’s transformation. Demonstrated in a series of concrete benches, this body of work explores how this impact is experienced through material and spatial composition. These highly-contoured silhouettes create a surrealist sense of dislocation, while embracing the sense of femininity and sensuality. “Distortion” art piece is a balance of functionality and sculptural shape. This elegant bench constructed of fiber and resin reinforced by concrete. Bold and minimal body of the bench sharply evolves into a gentle form that symbolize the femininity. This unconventional form and bold appearance represents artist’s manifesto about experience, mystery, and surprise.
“Fragmented Pillar” symbolize the disturbance of one’s foundation. Strong, erect and imposing, the pillar is the mother structure of any given entity. A disruption as such, results in the fragility of the pillar’s fundamental function, characterized by its revealed fragments,” El Zein states. Through a series of interactive sculptures made of plaster and sand, the series explores the physical and emotional disorder through the disturbance of one’s foundation.
Lastly, Seduction depicts human interaction and connection between figures in varying degrees of proximity. Synthesizing abstraction and representation, these stone-sculpted forms explore a range of states from introversion to desire.