On September 17 night, Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) witnessed an art night celebration with three prominent galleries hosted “opening of season” exhibitions. People who were at DIFC had the chance be around Ayyam Gallery “In The Name of Freedom” , Cuadro Fine Art Gallery “Prayer Room” – “Esmi (My Name)” – “Hold Me In” & “Genius Loci”, and XVA “Adjacent and Across”.
Ayyam Gallery (DIFC) opened the season with a solo exhibition of Palestinian artist Oussama Diab titled “In the Name of Freedom” featuring a selection of his latest paintings where the artist employs symbolist interpretations of current events and concerns by the exciting Pop and graffiti-inspired expressionistic canvases. Candor, yet playful, this juxtaposition reflects a duality prominent in all of Diab’s work.
“Adjacent and Across” showcase female Pakistani artists Simeen Farhat and Faiza Butt exposes two bodies of work which although are very different in execution, address similar themes and concerns. Both artists share common ground and their work revolves around various pertinent social, gender, and political issues of the region. The exhibition will run until October 7th in XVA Gallery.
Cuadro Fine Art hosted 4 solo exhibitions in one night, all running until October 25th, the exhibitions are “Prayer Room” photography show for Ammar Mohammad Al Attar who presents locales that are seemingly obscure, but upon closer inspection provide a visual history of his rapidly developing country by presenting a cultural continuity which is rarely visible.
The second solo exhibition is an installation onsists of three-meter-high wooden prayer beads that carry the names of Saudi women, written in their own hand by Saudi artist Manal Al Dowayan titled “Esmi (My Name)”. She called out to women across KSA urging them to take part with a powerful call to action: “Our names will be preserved, and we will not allow the Saudi woman’s name to be erased, replaced, nor become a source of shame.” The purpose of this installation is to response to the social custom in Saudi Arabia of never uttering a woman’s name.
Lebanese established artist, Athier explores the perception of progress in contemporary Arab society and the impact of architectural and cultural construction on both local identity and global perception in his latest solo exhibition “Hold Me In” featuring paintings that discover whether construction may in fact deconstruct the Arab heritage and identity. And last but not least, Sinisa Vlajkovic ‘s “Genius Loci” a series of photographs explores the less obvious aspects of the UAE’s topography, amalgamating natural and social elements of the landscape into an ephemeral unit.
The crowd was huge, art lovers from around UAE gathered for the long-waited events! The night was a success and promising that this season will be as great as 2011/2012. I’ll leave you with random pictures from the three galleries but stay tuned because I will write in-depth articles about Oussama Diab ‘s “In The Name of Freedom” and Pakistani artist Simeen Farhat. Until then, enjoy the show 🙂