20 Feb 2024 - 24 May 2024

Contemplation Effect

Hafez Gallery


Contemplation Effect is dedicated to the myriad ways regional artists are in dialog with the natural world. This extends from contemplations on the matter around us to deep reflections on what lies beyond our material existence, thus alluding to our place in creation. Expressed through a wide array of mediums, this group exhibition features a wide range of Saudi Arabia’s most prolific visual artists. The artworks include new commissions, reinterpreted work, and other never-before-seen projects.

The title Contemplation Effect borrows from the physics term “observer effect” whereby the mere act of looking at something also changes it. Contemplation Effect takes this idea a hypothetical step further to consider all forms of perception having the same symbiotic effect. Significantly more detailed than merely gathering information exposed to our eyes, contemplating is to be fully engaged with our minds and consider things in their totality. It is to perceive both the visible and the invisible face of something and thus both affect and be affected by its complete and intrinsic reality.

Contemplation Effect is a collection of artworks made in light of enthralling and deeply personal exchanges with the natural world on both an individual and collective level. The artists engage with sweeping deserts, lush foliage, and barren landscapes where only cactuses thrive. From dissecting palm fibers to finding an insect from half the world away, from the cycle of construction material to colorful warnings of our own extinction, from taking nature as a concept with handmade tapestries, ceramics, and materials never found in nature to referencing the heavenly hereafter in devotional gratitude, this group exhibition considers the creative effects of being in dialog with this ultimate muse.

Contemplation Effect marks the inaugural exhibition at Hafez Gallery’s new location in the Jax District of Riyadh and features the following artists: Abdelrahman ElShahed, Abdullah Othman, Afsoon, Andrea Alkalay, Farouk Kondakji, Hadil Moufti, Hanan Bahamdan, Hatem Al-Ahmad, Houssam Ballan, Ibrahim Eldessouki, Lana Khayat, Lulwah Al-Homoud, Maisa Shaldan, Mohamed Banawy, Rashed AlShashai, and Saeed Gamhawi.

Press release from Hafez Gallery

Image: Hatem Al Ahmad. Theatrical Indicators. 2023. Acrylic and oil on canvas. 190 x 190 cm. Image courtesy of the artist and Hafez Gallery