Khalid Khreis, Jordanian artist and Director of the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, has continued his running partnership with Nabad Gallery in his most recent exhibition entitled Rain Memories.

After two years away from painting, in which time, he tells artmejo, he was “not willing to touch a paint brush, it was as though I was experiencing something new”, Khreis has returned with an entirely new series of works that break from his previous motifs and subjects.

Khalid Khreis, Rain Memories, 2019
This series came about after I changed my studio. I was lost at that time and I found a fresh start in my new studio. Once I began painting in this studio, everything started coming out at once. -Khreis

With Rain Memories, the artist explains that he is “asking a new question that still puzzles me: who is painting whom?”. With the idea of rain’s ability to wash our spirits as a foundation, Khreis allows his soul to control his movements and thus actively reject any conscious notion of artistic influence from secondary sources. The result is a collection of canvasses that provide an insight into the artist’s mind, filled with hints of suggested ideas without conceding to the viewer any concrete facts. Just as how clouds constantly shift into new forms, with each different in the eyes of the beholder, so too do Khreis‘ works ask the viewer to formulate their own opinions and draw meaning from imposing their own experiences onto the art in front of them.

Khalid Khreis, Rain Memories, 2019

Walking around the exhibition, one is struck by the contrasting differences in palette throughout. Khreis lets his mood dictate his colour palette, resulting in washed out, somber canvasses sitting side by side with bright works bursting with optimism and energy. When questioned about these juxtapositions, Khreis told artmejo that “sometimes I listen to Umm Kalthoum while I paint and let her music soothe me, whereas sometimes I sit in silence and draw inspiration from the quiet”. It is left to the viewer to decide which environment influenced which works.

Although the exhibition is currently running, Khreis says that he is still fascinated by the questions posed and as such he is still creating works exploring the motif of rain memories.  On his 18th solo exhibition, Dr. Khalid Khreis has shown himself to be continually evolving as an artist, constantly questioning the very essence of what it is to be an artist.  In attempting to deal with the eternal question of whether art affects life or life affects art, he has exhibited both a confidence and inquisitiveness that show no sign of abating.

See the show at Nabad Gallery, running until 25th April.

Khalid Khreis, Rain Memories, 2019

Read more from Felix Goodman.
Image courtesy of Nabad Art Gallery.