Navine G. Dossos: McLean
McLean is a public artwork by artist Navine G. Dossos commissioned for the ICA’s Belvidere facade. The new project titled McLean (2023) is an adaptation of the artist’s former work No Such Organization (2018-2020), a series of one hundred gouache paintings of icons and symbols. Each painting is in response to a new article that emerged following the disappearance and heinous murder, in October 2018, of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a resident of McLean, Virginia. The original paintings are a record that signifies each stage of the event and its surrounding investigation. Each painting is a perfect square meter, and uses symbols to visually represent newspaper articles. The gruesome event of Khashoggi’s killing was not caught on camera and lacked a visual narrative. Dossos devised symbols and icons that stand in for the different forms of technology, individuals, nation states, law enforcement agencies, and human rights organizations.
McLean is organized by ICA Senior Curator and Director of Programs Sarah Rifky.
About the artist
Navine G. Dossos (b. 1982, UK; based in Aegina) is an artist whose interests span Orientalism in the digital realm, geometry as information and decoration, image calibration, and aniconism (the absence of icons) in contemporary culture. She has devised a language through geometric abstraction that both draws from the aniconism found in Islamic art and her fascination with the enmeshed algorithmic world we live in. Navine’s practice departs from how we might understand abstraction in Western art. Her works are informational and committed to investigation and communication.
As a painter, Navine uses the medium and its history to pose questions about how we see, understand, and represent the world around us. Falling in the crevasses between abstraction and figuration, her paintings represent the absences that govern our contemporary realities. Her work prompts us to deal with the uncertainty of truth.
Navine studied History of Art at Cambridge University, Arabic at Kuwait University, and Islamic Art at the Prince’s School of Traditional Art in London and holds an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art & Design, London. Her work has been shown widely at major international art institutions and museums. She is a member of the Substantial Motion Research Network and is also part of the Aegina-based collective Vessel.