Galerie SANAA / When the nights become canvas – solo Raafat Ballan

Galerie SANAA / When the nights become canvas – solo Raafat Ballan

Opening zaterdag 10 december 16.00-18.00 door Imran Channa (visual artist)

With great pleasure SANAA Gallery presents the first solo exhibition of Raafat Ballan When the nights become canvas. Out of the black canvas Raafat paints figures that lighten up the dark background and bring human emotions to life.

Quietness, 2022 175×165 cm, oil on canvas

In his paintings Ballan distils scenes of family life into discrete compositions, snapshots of isolated figures in the presence of absence, with bold colours that tinge these paintings with playfulness. The gestures of these figures are captured by heavy paint strokes over brightly saturated surfaces. The forceful encounter between spectator and subject that these expressions produce conveys a moment of truth: a moment that reveals its initial impact, which in its turn is often grounded in the tensions Ballan experienced in his country of birth. 

Born in Suwayda Syria 1990 and trained as a painter in Damascus, Ballan is based in Utrecht. Ballan is a young emerging artist, noticed here and in the Middle East.

The city before it was transformed, 2021 175×140 cm, oil on canvas

Ballan participated in various group exhibitions including Tijdelijk Museum Amsterdam (2017), Art Rotterdam (2018), SANAA gallery Stages of life exhibition (2019), MEI Washington (2020), Egypt INT’L Art fair Cairo (2022), Art The Hague /SANAA Gallery (2021-2022), Kunsthal Rotterdam (2022). 

His work is acquired by Collection Prints and graphics Leiden University, Collection Poort/Visser and various private collections in the Netherlands, Syria, US, Egypt, Spain, and Germany.

Raafat Ballan in his studio, photo credits: Sophie Steengracht
footer anchor