Summer vacation is almost over, that only means one GOOD thing, art season is back! Al Mahha Art Blog put together events and activities to mark your calendar for September and prepare your trips & plans to events in or close to your city! Chairs from the middle east are taking over Budabist, a fun & art 3 days event in Utah, Taymour Grahne is finally opening in NYC with nothing bigger scaled than NICKY NODJOUMI, serenty and tricky calmness in Reem Youssef’s in Amman, contemporary sculptures based on 18th and 19th century Chinese porcelain in London, manipulation & subversion of traditional painting in NYC, also in NYC a flavor of Middle Eastren calligrafitti presentation, a workshop by Monstariam in Kuwait city, Once in a life time experience in San Fransisco & finally – yes i keep the best for the last – an artistic blast by Ayyam “Galleries” from London to DIFC!
Birds Butterflies and Bunnies
Occasion: Cuadro’s first exhibition of the season showcases new works by Hunt Slonem. Hunt Slonem was born in 1951. He studied painting at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. Slonem is not interested in a demonstration of contemporary politics and his paintings are neither narrative nor specific in detail. Slonem is best known for his paintings of tropical birds and butterflies, inspired by his personal aviary in which he keeps more than one hundred live birds of various species.
Opening Reception: September 10, 2013 at 7 PM
Duration: Sept 10 – Oct 10
Location: Cuadro Fine Art Gallery, DIFC, Dubai.
Gallery Isabelle Van Den Eynde
The Divine Is In The Detail
Occasion: The Divine Is In The Detail explores the relationships in Aisha Khalid’s work amongst geometry and precision with respect to the spiritual. The exhibition title is a play on the commonly heard phrase ‘the devil is in the detail’, in other words, the difficulties or problematics of specificity. While the phrase denotes a process that is painstaking and undesirable, this show approaches the detail in Khalid’s work as generative and rife with creative potential.
Opening Reception: September 9, 2013 at 7 PM
Duration: 10 September – 10 October 2013
Location: Gallery Isabelle Van Den Eynde, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai
The Third Line
THE BLIND OWL
Occasion: Pouran Jinchi returns to The Third Line with her third solo show, The Blind Owl, continuing her investigation into deconstructing calligraphy and looking into the deeper complexities of the written word. The artist explores the physical form and its signified insinuations through the lens of the dark narratives of The Blind Owl, a major literary work by Iranian author Sadegh Hedayat.
In this new body of work, Pouran interprets the Iranian tradition of calligraphy and Islamic geometry through the lens of contemporary aesthetics and focuses on the weight of letters, phrases and quotes to convey her own narrative. As with previous works where she drew inspiration from seminal text works like the Quran and the Cyrus Cylinder (ancient Persian text based artifact), The Blind Owl is an example of how Pouran uses literature to inform her practice. By using abstraction and repetitive patterning, she provides a visual experience that is left to the individual interpretation of the viewer.
Opening Reception: September 18
Duration: September 18 – October 24, 2013
Location: The Third Line, Al Quoz 3, Dubai
PROJECT SPACE: THE FOUNTAIN AND THE FIG
Occasion: The Third Line is pleased to introduce New York based artist Nadia Ayari, with her exhibition The Fountain and The Fig opening in the Project Space. Nadia works with densely painted surfaces, where stark contrasting colours form hyper-natural imagery, provide strong allegories of the sensual and the violent.
For this Project, Nadia’s predominant aesthetic concerns remain with rendering conceptual narratives, whereby the act of painting becomes an important tool in the dialogue. By using heavily conventionalized symbols such as the fig and the tree, she influences the imagery to acquire an element of myth-like storytelling. The densely painted surfaces take on a sculptural quality as Nadia works layer upon layer to construct the visual, subtly manipulating the thick paint to set along the grain of the folded leaf and the curve of the over-ripened fruit.
Duration: September 18 – October 24, 2013
Location: Project Space, The Third Line, Al Quoz 3, Dubai
Contemporary Art Platform
Peace One Day Festival
The Art Exhibition
What: In its Second year The Art Salon puts together an art exhibition to celebrate the global peace day. This year PEACE ONE DAY supports Kuwait’s celebration of the global peace day. You are invited to attend the art exhibition that will show different interpretation of PEACE.. Local and international artist will show their work in the exhibition which part of the proceed will be donated to Khair Al -Kuwait and Loyac. So lets all gather to celebrate PEACE together.
When: 15th September 2013 @6:30 pm
Where: Contemporary Art Platform Kuwait
Peace One Day Festival
Global Peace Ride
What: KUWAIT RIDERS ALONG WITH THE PHOENICIAN RIDERS WILL GATHER AT COST BIDAI TO CELEBRATE THE GLOBAL PEACE RIDE.. WILL JOIN THEM THE DUCATI AND THE BMW. JOIN US TO CELEBRATE THIS PEACE RIDE AND TAKE PICTURES WITH THE RIDERS.
When: Friday, September 20, 2013
Where: GATHERING AT COST Coffee BIDAI @ 4:00 PM.
Peace One Day Festival
In The Name of Music
What: The Art Salon invites you to attend on the 21st September – Global Peace Day, to celebrate with Live music from Kuwait, Basil Al HadiAmin FariAziz F. AlNasrallah &Waleed Shaalan will start playing from 6 until 9..Kids will have a part in this celebration there will be face paint,K’spath animals and puppet show..Don’t miss the big night and celebration..
When: 21 September, 2013
Where: CAP Warehouse, Contemporary Art Platform Kuwait
Contemporary Art Platform
“Kursi” in Hungary
Occasion: Contemporary Art Platform is pleased to announce “Kursi – A Tribute to a Chair” exhibition, 1st art exhibition along with more events that will be hosted in Hungary by CAP, under the title “Zenith Art Exchange” part of “Art Moments festival, one of the biggest public art festivals in Hungary.
What is the significance of the chair in the Arab world? The earliest reference to the word “kursi” or “chair” was in the Quran Scripture, “Verse of the Chair”. The verse enforced the faith that there was no God but he who is all-knowing and sits on the throne of the earth and skies. Today the chair has shed its religious allusions and has adopted an image of social, political, and humanistic implications.
The exhibition features Kuwaiti artists: Amira behbehani, Aseel Al Yaqoub, Bader Al Mansor, Dana Al Jouder, Faisal Al Fouzan, Jassim Al Saddah, Mohammad Sharaf, Mohammed Al Kouh, Yousef AlMehdari.
Opening Reception: Wednesday, Sept 4, 2013. 6PM
Duration: 4/9/2013 – 12/9/2013
Location: Design Terminal – Budapest
RSVP: CAP Facebook.
Utah’s Creativity Festival
Celebrating Arts & Sciences, Community & Culture, Creativity & Innovation
Occassion: United Artists of Utah presents for three days and nights, community members from all walks of life will come together as families and friends to serve together, learn together and be inspired together. Local professionals will promote and support each other. Educators, artists, community leaders, husbands and wives, parents and children will teach and reach each other and spend quality time together in an environment rich with creative energy and warm with the spirit of unity.
*A beautiful, artistically designed, inspirational, community-completed mural that represents all of our Utah communities & cultures will be painted on the wall of a downtown building.
*There will be incredible performances by professional and amateur dance & theater companies.
*Utah musicians will draw in large audiences by day and by night as we highlight Utah’s incredible, home-grown talent.
*Visual Artists will be creating everywhere- They’ll demonstrate the process of creating their art and many artists will be able to offer opportunities to participate by enjoying the rewarding experience of learning a new craft.
Opening Reception: Friday, September 6, 2013
Duration: 6/9/2013 – 9/9/2013
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
RSVP: United Artists of Utah Facebook
Taymour Grahne Gallery
Nicky Nodjoumi: Chasing the Butterfly
Occassion: On September 7th, Taymour Grahne Gallery opens its doors with an inaugural exhibition by acclaimed Iranian painter Nicky Nodjoumi. Featuring large-scale oil paintings in the main gallery and works on paper in the lower gallery, Chasing the Butterfly and Other Recent Paintings explores Nodjoumi’s surreal hybridization of historic and contemporary imagery intercut with sharp political commentary.
Not unlike the work of the German Social Realist Neo Rauch, Nodjoumi’s paintings suggest the intention of a narrative reading, but are instead cryptic and open-ended. In Inspector’s Scrutiny, 2012, warriors from traditional Persian miniatures join with anonymous suited men in the struggle to tether and subjugate a supine horse, creating a scene that is both politically charged and ambiguously unresolved. Nodjoumi’s figures are continually spliced and rejoined on fractured registers with mismatched proportions, a spatial discrepancy that heightens the work’s disjointed layering of history and identity. Underlining this jarring sense of removal from reality and providing material textuality to the work are the artist’s sketches and clippings, also on display.
Opening Reception: September 7, 2013 6 PM – 8 PM
Duration: 7 September – 23 October 2013
Location: Taymour Granhe Gallery, NYC.
”Dialogue” by Reem Yassouf
Occassion: Zara Gallery – Amman presents solo exhibition “Dialouge” by Syrian artist Reem Youssef. A child, a cat and paper kites; that is the kind of delicate imagery artist Reem Yassouf, presents to the viewer in her new work during Art Week Amman.
Opening Reception: September 11 at 6:30pm
Duration: September 11 – October 2
Location: Zara Gallery, Amman.
Sumarria Lunn Gallery
‘New Work’ by Meekyoung Shin
Occassion: Sumarria Lunn Gallery in Mayfair, London presents Korean artist Meekyoung Shin’s contemporary sculptures in “New Work” based on 18th and 19th century Chinese porcelain that was created exclusively for export to the West. Never seen by most ordinary Chinese people this export-ware was believed by Europe and America to be a quintessential expression of Chinese culture. Representing an expression of cultural mistranslation through displacement Shin’s use of soap evokes the elision of meaning across history and continents.
Opening Reception: 26th September
Duration: 26th September to 8th Novembr 2013
Location: Sumarria Lunn Gallery, London
Alexander Gray Associates
Occassion: Alexander Gray Associates is pleased to present an exhibition featuring new paintings by Jack Whitten. The presentation highlights the most recent evolution of process in Whitten’s nearly 50-year career dedicated to abstraction, manipulation, and subversion of traditional painting practices.
Scale, context, and history play equally integral roles in the group of paintings on view. With its alluring, slick black surface, the sprawling Remote Control (2013) is both seductive and intimidating, alluding to the appeal and threat of technology. In the massive Crushed Grid (2013), Whitten reinvents the modernist grid by immersing a distorted net of acrylic ribbons in thick layers of undulating paint. The varied effects of his material experimentation add a sense of tension, depth, and motion; the result is an array of illusory surface textures that seem solid and aerated, dense and viscous yet fluid.
Opening Reception: Wednesday, September 11, 2013, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Duration: September 11 – October 12, 2013
Location: Alexander Gray Associates, New York
Occassion: Leila Heller is pleased to announce Calligraffiti 1984/2013, on view from September 5 – October 5, 2013. Originally curated in 1984 by Jeffrey Deitch (Director, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles) at Leila Heller’s former uptown gallery, Calligraffiti explored a myriad of possible connections shared between the seemingly disparate styles of select mid-century abstract, U.S. graffiti, and calligraphic artists from the Middle East and its diaspora.
By presenting an expanded and updated roster of artists including site-specific installations by emerging and established artists 30 years later, Calligraffiti 1984/2013 re-examines the global impact of street art and calligraphy as converging modes of personal expression, popular culture, and political dissent mutually grounded in arrogating the systems of language.
Featuring more than 50 works by artists ranging from Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner; Hans Hartung and Cy Twombly; Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat; and Hossein Zenderoudi and Pouran Jinchi, the exhibition will also include site-specific installations by emerging and established artists. LA2 will be creating an installation in Leila Heller Gallery’s front room visible from 25th street, while Tunisian/French artist eL Seed will be painting a mural in the 11th Avenue windows. Julien Breton will be also be featuring three light Calligraphy performances during the Calligraffiti opening
Opening Reception: September 5, 2013 5:30-8:30 pm
Location: Leila Heller, NYC
Monstars Monstariam Workshop
Occassion: Learn the art of illustration’s tool & techniques by Mohammed AbuHakmeh. This workshop is highly collaborative where you will learn the techniques of drawing & illustration on a small scale, how to then transform your works on a much larger scale (the side of a building!), and finally applying your illustrations and art works to a large scale board. The workshop will end with students choosing a wall to tag in Kuwait, and applying some of their latest masterpieces to it.
With over 17 years of experience, Mohammed AbuHakmeh is the founder of RPS & Monstariam (www.monstariam.com). His works are currently all over Kuwait on restaurant walls, logo designs, and t-shirts craved by most! Mohammed has also been an active participant in yourAOK’s launch in Shift the Shift event, as well as Discovery Mall’s live Graffiti Show.
Duration: Aug 26 – Sept 7, 2013
Location: YOUR AOK, Kuwait
Green Art Gallery
Jung Lee in Dubai
Occasion: Green Art Gallery is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition of Korean artist Jung Lee in Dubai, marking her first presentation in the Middle East.
Working across sculpture and photography, the exhibition will present works from both her Aporia and Day and Night Series. Aporia, meaning “coming to a dead end” in Greek, was inspired by Roland Barthes’s “A Lover’s Discourse” that tells the story of the ineptitudes of people in love.
In the works entitled Day and Night, Lee focused on ‘God’ and ‘Love’ as the two main words reﬂecting her interpretation of Dante’s Divine Comedy where he highlighted the belief that true faith and love would lead you to heaven. Lee produces a cluster of those “divine” words and places them ﬂoating over the sea as reproductions or in a heap, demonstrating one’s desire to salvation.
Opening Reception: 9 September 2013, 6 – 9 pm
Duration: 9 September – 23 October 2013
Location: Green Art Gallery, AlSerkal Avenue, Dubai
Tonight and the Beautiful Future
Occasion: In his sixth solo exhibition at Hosfelt Gallery, Düsseldorf-based painter Stefan Kürten fills the entire gallery with new paintings on linen or paper depicting the environments we create in our tenacious attempt to make our lives perfect.
Chic mid-century homes, picturesque bungalows, meticulously manicured landscapes and resort architecture evidence the dazzling promise of economic prosperity in the post-World War II West. These are bright, clean, thoughtfully-designed places. Safe places. Happy places. The imagery is fabricated from Kürten’s own snapshots of California and Northern Europe or from ubiquitous shelter porn. The scenes seem to glow with a soft, golden, interior light – an effect achieved through the use of metallic gold pigment in the foundational layers of the paintings – that adds to their sense of harmony and richness.
Opening Reception: Saturday, 7 September, 4-6 pm
Duration: 3 September – 12 October 2013
Occasion: Happy Birthday Art Circle! The gallery team is pleased to invite you to the gallery’s 4th Birthday Party coinciding with the opening of “COMPILATION’013”; a group show by a selection of artists.
Date: Friday September 13, 2013 at 7:30 pm
Exhibition Duration: Sept 13 – Oct 26
Location: Art Circle, (Hamra) Beirut
To RSVP: Art Circle Email
Urban Zoo in Beirut
Occasion: Ayyam Gallery Beirut is pleased to present ‘Urban Zoo’, a solo exhibition of new paintings and sculpture by acclaimed Lebanese artist, writer and architect Nadim Karam.
On show at Ayyam Gallery Beirut will be a series of crystal pieces, through which Karam further develops the ideas found in his large scale architectural interventions across the globe. Here they are scaled down to provide the viewer an intimate experience with an object, rather than encountering a structure in an expansive urban space. Domestic and functional buttons masquerade as precious stones in the jewelled ‘Queen of Spades’ (2013) and the iridescent monochrome ‘The Cloud House’ (2013). Karam tell stories through the brightly coloured, abstracted forms, borrowing from existing mythology and fairy tales.
Karam will also present a series of small scale stainless steel sculptures drawing from his vocabulary of recurring characters and symbols. The figures making up this series are shown in profile and formed from intricate lattice work, giving them a sense of lightness. ‘Dream Girl’ (2013) has wings in place of arms, lifting them to take flight; in ‘Couple’ (2013), two joyful figures run in unison, hands entwined; while ‘Elephant’ (2013) stands proud and unyielding. Forms embedded in the framework of these sculptures invite the viewer to uncover characters and narratives hidden within the larger structure.
Opening Reception: Thursday, 29 August at 7pm
Duration: 29 August – 10 October
Location: Ayyam Gallery, Beirut
Complete Freedom in London
Occasion: Ayyam Gallery London will present ‘Complete Freedom’, the first UK solo exhibition by acclaimed Syrian artist Khaled Takreti. The exhibition will present a new body of mixed media and film works examining the validity of the term ‘freedom’ and its relationship to personal and group identity.
Best known for his large-scale painted compositions exploring the psychology of their female subjects, the exhibition at Ayyam Gallery London marks a shift towards a largely monochromatic, graphic style and intimate subject matter. Employing and subverting both found images and his own photographs – most recently, those taken by the artist on the Paris Metro – Takreti’s collaged canvases are photographed, manipulated, reprinted, and then meticulously reworked through a process of drawing, cutting and painting. The process functions as a visual diary and a means of recording memory and charting time.
Opening Reception: Thursday, 5 September at 6 pm
Duration: 5 September – 5 October
Location: Ayyam Gallery, London
Passing the Crisis in DIFC
Occasion: Ayyam Gallery, Dubai (DIFC), is pleased to announce ‘Passing the Crisis’, an exhibition of new oil paintings by Iranian painter Rezvan Sadeghzadeh. The new works directly address apprehension, hope and fear. Anonymous female figures stand alongside oversized rocks and boulders, often dwarfed by these monolithic forms. Stones appear repeatedly throughout his paintings; they are not used merely as peripheral elements in a formal still life, or as background props in a landscape, but rather as organisms with a life and energy of their own, sometimes appearing centre stage to be studied at close range.
Alongside these stones are other repeated objects: bayonets, candles, doors, and more occasionally, trees, are all recurring motifs in Sadeghzadeh’s painterly vocabulary.
Opening Reception: Tuesday, September 10 at 7pm
Duration: 10 September – 15 October, 2013
Location: Ayyam Gallery, DIFC, Dubai
MAJAZZ (METAPHOR) in Jeddah
Occasion: Ayyam Gallery Jeddah is pleased to announce the solo exhibition, ‘MAJAZZ (METAPHOR) – مجاز ‘by Saudi Arabian artist Faisal Samra. This hugely significant artist is returning to Saudi Arabia for the first time in 13 years, where he will present a series of works, including two new triptychs and Arab Spring, a major new installation reflecting on recent political events in the Arab world. The exhibition marks the first show of a Saudi artist at Ayyam Gallery Jeddah.
As one of the first practising conceptual artists in Saudi Arabia, Faisal Samra, who now lives and works in Bahrain, is among the most influential Gulf artists working today. Having broken with tradition early in his career, the artist now works mainly in video, installation and photography. Samra has spoken in the past of ‘dissolving the border between painting and sculpture by freeing the canvas from the frame’ and this ethos permeates the works shown at Ayyam Gallery Jeddah.
Opening Reception: Monday, September 29 at 7 pm
Duration: 23 September – 31 October
Location: Ayyam Gallery, Jeddah