Ashes to Dreams: THAMEUR MEJRI

9 - 21 September 2022

Montague Contemporary is pleased to present Ashes to Dreams, a solo exhibition of new abstract paintings by Thameur Mejri. The exhibition represents the culmination of his recently completed residency in New York City as the inaugural artist-in-residence. The series is an optimistic one, representing a rebirth for Thameur in New York City - a city that has inspired his practice for years. The new works are all figurative in a sense - self-portraits of an individual grappling with the complexities of our societal systems and power imbalances. 


Ashes to Dreams runs from September 9 - September 22, 2022.





Heavily inspired by Roland Barthes, Derrida, Picasso, and David Lynch, Thameur Mejri’s apophatic canvases are deconstruction in the flesh, expressing what he calls a “secular exorcism.” This active deconstruction is done to showcase the violent hierarchy of the signified over signifier, to make some sense of how we as humans are conditioned by dogma, circumstance, and the power elite.⁣



To achieve any understanding of our conditioning, Mejri feels we must deconstruct our landscape, our surroundings, and ourselves to free ourselves from the external – to shed light on the difference, as Derrida mentions, to regain control of ourselves and to see objects and our environment for what it does to us, how it shapes us, and how it threatens our existence while at the same time shaping it. His canvases are an exercise in cathartic release, to look inwards and outwards at the same time, so to free ourselves from the shackles of our dogmatic existence.⁣



He has exhibited widely, including recent solo exhibitions at MAC Lyons, France (2022), Selma Feriani, London (2022), Montague Contemporary, New York (2021), and group exhibitions at the Carlos Museum, Atlanta (2022), 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, London (2020), the 13th Cairo Biennial, Cairo, Egypt (2019) Dakar Biennale of Contemporary African Art, Dakar, Senegal (2018), N' Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, Detroit, USA (2018).



Mejri’s work forms part of many prestigious collections of art, including The Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE; The Sindika Dokolo Foundation, Luanda, Angola; Dalloul Art Foundation, Beirut, Lebanon; The Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden (MACAAL), Marrakech, Morocco; Musée d'art Contemporain - MAC Lyons, France.



His first monograph was published in 2022 by Skira Books.