Jordan Nassar Traces History of Palestine in New Works at Anat Ebgi

Jordan Nassar, Study Red Which Is Blue 2016. Hand-embroidery in cotton on Aida on canvas 8 x 10 Inches. Image: Jordan Nassar.

Study (Red Which Is Blue), a hand-embroidery in cotton on Aida on canvas by Jordan Nassar, is one on the new works tracing the history of Palestine at Anat Ebgi in Los Angeles, California.

ART EXHIBITION: In his second solo exhibition at Anat Ebgi, Jordan Nassar Traces History of Palestinian though hand-embroidery. 


Jordan Nassar, Study A Yellow Sky 2016. Hand-embroidery in cotton on Aida on canvas 8 x 10 Inches. Image: Jordan Nassar.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA–A new series of hand-embroidered canvases will highlight Jordan Nassar’s first solo exhibition at Anat Ebgi in Los Angeles. The new works feature compositions of undulating fantastical landscapes in jeweled colors made from symbols adapted from traditional Palestinian embroidery.

Jordan Nassar goes deep into the Palestinian culture, tradition, and history to create these new works. In these series, the New York based artist examines the authenticity of his own creation by initiating a dialogue between his own embroidery and its connection to the place and history of Palestine.

Each work reflects the handcraft of embroidery often featured upon traditional Palestinian women’s dresses. The embroidery and design on the women’s clothing are not just for aesthetics, they also trace the familial records of transience and movement. For Nassar, the appropriation of those embroidery and patterns in his new works allow him the opportunity to address the intersection of craft, language, history, (geo) politics, and technology in a way that brings focus to his own tradition.

A Palestinian-American, Jordan Nassar began learning the skill necessary to create traditional embroidery in an attempt to connect with his heritage.  His landscape creations reflect his state of mind and desires. As a descendant of the Palestinian diaspora, Nassar’s new works are meditations on alienation and displacement. Each piece carries with it a sense of nostalgia and Nassar’s quest to capture ancestors’ stories of a Palestine where there is peace and harmony.  There is also a longing for a utopian future where the conflicts are a distant memory.

To bring context and understanding to the new works and exhibition, Nassar has published a limited edition zine entitled “Dunya” featuring his essay. In the essay, Nassar defines Dunya:

To put it simply, Dunya is the whole world. In a religious context, it is This World, as opposed to The Next, but it is more than that. Dunya is the world you swear by when you promise true love. Dunya is the world that is ruined when your heart is broken. Dunya is the earth, the dirt, the trees, the rivers, the oceans, the sun, the sky, the birds, the cats, the dogs, and the people.

About Jordan Nassar

Born 1985 in New York, NY, Jordan Nassar’s first solo exhibition was titled JAFFA: NEW WORKS at the Artport Tel Aviv, Israel in April of this year.   The show at Anat Ebgi will serve as his second solo show. Nassar has participated in several group exhibitions, including presentations with Arcadia Missa, NY; LVL3, Chicago; and Evelyn Yard, London. He will be featured in an upcoming exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art entitled, Long, Winding Journeys: Contemporary Art and the Islamic Tradition curated by Elizabeth Rooklidge. He has released numerous self-published zines. His work has been reviewed in The Third Rail and Elephant Magazine.

Have you seen any of Jordan Nassar’s works in an exhibition? What do you think? Share your thoughts. Leave a comment.