Greenbox dictionary of Saudi Arabian artists

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Ali Al-Tokhais (1956) is a sculptor by the incident of his birth in Al-Dawadmi. Al-Dawadmi, or 'The High of the Najd,' is a hill top town, west of Riyadh, where it is said that a tradition of sculpture has continued over the ages after introduction in the 15th century. They have been farming the rock is what comes to mind, if rock is indeed what the Najd hills are made off. Rock is the artist's preferred medium on which he concentrates striving for absolute proficiency. The result of this, the rock which went through his hands, mind, heart and fingers has been on show to the public in the Middle East and other countries around the globe at frequent exhibitions since 1985. A large selection of his works can be seen on his own website. And this website is worth visiting for another reason. Ali Al-Tokhais is a professor of sculpture and shows with pride pictures of his students with their work.

Al-Tokhais has said that the Arabic alphabet is a silent influence in his work that by itself is abstract. But the abstraction is taken away again by contemplation while the rock is revealing its new form or perhaps as an afterthought. So the works of rock find themselves entrusted with titles which carry meaning. And sometimes, as is probabaly the case with Penetration, the rock is trusted with the nation itself.    

24 December 2005
Carving out a Future for Sculpture by Razan Baker.

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From top to bottom: Penetration, Ability.