Huem-chor O’ weych-pues (Welcome to where the rivers meet)
March 17, 2022 - April 22, 2022
Anthony Meier Fine Arts is pleased to announce "Saif Azzuz: Huem-chor O’ weych-pues (Welcome to where the rivers meet)", the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery, on view from 17 March – 22 April 2022. Working with a variety of natural materials and incorporating traditional Yurok art-making techniques, Azzuz confronts the ongoing effects of colonialism.
The title of the exhibition takes its name from a greeting wall in Weitchpec, CA where the Yurok community resides. To date, the privatization of stolen land is the largest burden on all Indigenous peoples trying to steward their ancestral lands. Through constructing a sense of home within the gallery, Azzuz subverts the inaccessibility faced by his people for generations, subsequently showcasing the resilience of Yurok culture and the importance of personal connection with the land.
Azzuz’s work responds to the impact of colonization, dams and the privatization of nature on the California landscape. Traditional ecological knowledge––different ways Indigenous communities have interacted with the land since time immemorial –– is at the core of the artist’s work, and is evident through a series of “remembered landscapes,” rubbing paintings, and sculptures that populate the gallery space. Made at different locations throughout present-day Weitchpec, the rubbing paintings are created from reliefs that are found on bridges or pieces of concrete that represent a different pattern and story for the Yurok tribe. In his paintings, Azzuz repurposes the color palettes from the drought and fire maps from California in 2021 to create surreal landscapes that are full and alive, that press their power up to the very edges of the canvas, resisting their frames.
About Saif Azzuz:
Saif Azzuz (b. 1987) is a Libyan-Yurok artist who resides in Pacifica, CA. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Painting and Drawing from the California College of the Arts in 2013. Azzuz has exhibited widely in the Bay Area, including an upcoming solo exhibition at Anthony Meier Fine Arts in March of 2022 and has had solo exhibitions at pt.2 gallery, Adobe Books, Ever Gold [Projects], NIAD, Rule Gallery and 1599dt Gallery. Azzuz is a 2022 SFMOMA SECA Award finalist and has participated in the Clarion Alley Mural Project and the Facebook Artist in Residence program.