At the Armory Vigo presents a selection of Black and White works, one of his most important and accomplished series, a highlight of which is Reborn Sounds of Childhood Dreams III, 2015, the third of three paintings which begun with his 1961-65 masterpiece, Reborn Sounds of Childhood Dreams I, part of the Tate's permanent collection. It refers to his recollection of childhood memories, stories and influences and took approximately three years to complete.
"To come in from the cold after all this time is a wonderful thing," Ibrahim El-Salahi recently said of the level of recognition afforded his work. At 85 El-Salahi is now widely seen by many curators and museums around the world as one of the most important, living African artists, the godfather of African and Arabic modernism. This was underscored by the depth and range of his major solo exhibition at the Tate Modern in 2013, the first retrospective given by the Tate to an artist of African birth.
Asked recently if he had a favourite work, El-Salahi said, without hesitation " the black and white", and when pressed as to which one of them, he said "all of them" and smiled. When making these works he feels guided by a greater force which allows his hand to progress the painting organically. Starting with a nucleus they grow as they wish with him as the conduit. The use of ink on paper as a medium allows the mark to dry quickly facilitating a flow of consciousness and links back to calligraphy and his earlier work.