Shorthand: Nadim Karam, notes from the archive


17 September - 28 October 2019

A.MUSE.UM, Daraoun, Lebanon


Curated by Rachel Dedman

Since his earliest days as an architect Nadim Karam has sketched prodigiously, compulsively, everyday. Best known for his ambitious installations of sculptured metal, for Karam the act of drawing is catharsis, invention, space for play and mode of speech. Shorthand engaged with this drawing and sketchwork – quieter, often small-scale – on paper, canvas, and in sketchbooks, mining four decades of studio archives.

Gestural and spontaneous, Karam’s sketchwork comes closest to the visceral performance art he practiced in Japan in the 1980s. As a young architect living in Tokyo, Karam worked at the intersection of the architectural and performative. It was here that Karam began to address themes of war, hope, the spiritual and profane, all of which have endured as preoccupations for his practice.

Nestled in the intimate, subterranean space below Karam’s family’s home, Shorthand brought together over one hundred never-before-seen drawings and paintings, alongside video, photography and archival material, to explore the origins and legacies of his ideas. Not a retrospective, the exhibition rather reveals for the first time the rich landscape of references, experiences, experiments and processes that lies behind the Nadim we think we know.

The exhibition was reviewed by The Daily Star here.




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