Mark Your Calendar for October

In addition to the monthly list, I will add “What’s On?!” a link to most active initiative and hubs across the Middle East such as ArtintheCity, AlSerkal Avenue, Ashkal Alwan and more! The list keeps updating throughout the month, so keep passing by to stay in touch with the latest!

What’s On?!

V&A: Masterpieces of Chinese Painting – Club to Catwalk

ArtintheCity: ArtBus Design Open Call –  Abu Dhabi Art Wings Project Winners Announced

TheJamJar: Cinephilia Screenings – 3rd Mondays | Outreach Initiatives

Alserkal Avenue: The History of Photography – Fridge Concert Series

Ashkal Alwan:  7 selected grantees for Video Works 2014 Announce – HWP STUDY PROGRAM Postponed

CAP Kuwait: Coloring the Past – Marwan


Taymour Grahne Gallery

Reza Derakhshani “My Wicked Persian Carpet”

My Wicked Persian Carpet, 2013, Oil and Glitter on Canvas, 78.74 x 78.74 in / 200 x 200 cm

Occasion: Following its much-touted launch in September 2013, Taymour Grahne Gallery presents new works by Iranian painter, musician and performance artist Reza Derakshani. Expanding on previous investigations of ornamentation
and abstraction, “My Wicked Persian Carpet” incorporates the artist’s newfound experimentation with materials such as glitter to consider ongoing themes of life and death, faith and fear, love and revulsion, beauty and viciousness, light and darkness. Flat colorfields and a lack of perspective, always a signature component of Derakshani’s compositions, meld tradition and political references into highly textured, jewel-like paintings. The series derives its raw strength from an uncomfortable contrast—deceptively beautiful, almost hedonistic decorative qualities cut with bleak, apocalyptic manifestations of death—a result that is hypnotically and universally unsettling.

Opening Reception: October 29, 2013 at 6 – 8 PM

Duration: October 29 – December 3 2013

Location: Taymour Grahne Gallery, NYC

The Third Line

Sherin Guirguis Passages//Toroq

Sherin Guirguis, Untitled (Bab Huda), 2013, Mixed Media on hand cut paper, 274.32 x 182.88 cm

Occasion: The Third Line is pleased to present Egyptian artist Sherin Guirguis’ first solo show in the region. Sherin investigates post-colonial themes of political, cultural and social dogma and feminist activism within the framework of the Egyptian diaspora, both in the public and private spheres. Delving deep into the building blocks of culture and identity, specifically from the approach of a diaspora artist, she presents her interpretation of what it means to be defined by the transformative events of the moment.

For Passages//Toroq, Sherin presents works in two parallel series that address concerns of identity formation, highlighted predominantly in the wake of the mercurial Arab Springs. The title of the exhibition refers to both the literary and historical passages that are quoted in the work as well as the social passageways, or toroq, forged by the revolution. Crucial to its people, the revolution defies the political, social and cultural standards that have been imposed by and grown out of colonization. Sherin references historical developments in Egypt in order to have a clearer insight to the present.

Opening Reception: October 30 at 7 pm

Duration: October 30 – December 5, 2013

Location: The Third Line , Dubai


JITISH KALLAT’s The Hour of the Day of the Month of the Season

Courtesy: Galerie Daniel Templon
Courtesy: Galerie Daniel Templon

Occasion: Galerie Daniel Templon celebrated the new season with the first ever French solo exhibition of work by Indian artist Jitish Kallat, a stimulating voice on the contemporary art scene in recent years. Through his wide mediumistic repertoire, Jitish Kallat converts a chronicle of the cycle of life in a fast-transforming India, into arresting artworks.

For his exhibition at the gallery, the artist is focusing on simple everyday experiences such as sleep, being searched at a checkpoint, commuting or dining. By altering scale or form, he shifts from familiarity to off-kilter visual conundrums and metaphoric associations imbued with a playful ambiguity and deeper meaning.

Duration: Until Saturday, November 2, 2013


Hosfelt Gallery

Anoka Faruqee Talk At San Francisco Art Institute

Pink S-Curve, 2010 - acrylic on linen - 78.75 x 71.75 inches

Occasion: Represented by Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco, Anoka Faruqee will be presenting a talk at San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) Faruqee creates psychedelic, optical paintings that engage the limits and sensory subjectivity of visual perception. Her illusory and hypnotic works fuse intricate patterns with charged juxtapositions of color to create moiré patterns and other visual effects. The paintings prompt the viewer to engage the chromatic and experiential properties of paint.

Her work is currently on view at Hosfelt Gallery: ANOKA FARUQEE: Substance and Accident until 7 December 2013

Duration: Monday October 31. Social Hour is from 6:30 to 7:30pm – Lecture starts at 7:30pm

Location: San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA.

Sana Gallery

RAOUF RIFAI The Carnaval of Darwiches

Courtesy: Sana Gallery

Occasion: Malaysia’s TJ Fine Art and Singapore’s Sana Gallery are delighted to invite you to the opening of Raouf Rifai’s exhibition Carnaval of Darwiches presenting an extensive collection of contemporary art and masterpieces by a doyen of Lebanese artist.

Rifai’s Darwiches are an extensive body of work created by the artist over the past several years. Rifai introduced the Darwiche as the point of departure for his art in 2008. Rifai’s Darwiche is a folk character created by the artist and representing the common man (“darwiche” in Arabic means a simple and simple-minded person). Rifai’s common man also encompasses – through the name the artist chose – the dervish, or Sufi mystic, thus imbuing a spiritual and physical duality to the character.

Opening Reception:  Saturday 26 October 2013 at 8pm

Duration: 26 October – 16 November 2013

LocationTJ Fine Art, Kuala Lampur.

Janet Rady

Mohammed Abouelnaga’s Soad Hosny: A Resurrection in London

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Occasion: Janet Rady Fine Art presents Egyptian contemporary artist Mohamed Abouelnaga solo exhibition “Souad Hosny: A Resurrection in London” revives the beauty of the iconic actress Soad Hosny for the first time in London through the medium of painting and photography. Abouelnaga’s exhibition will be a rare opportunity for the Western world to discover the multiple aspects of Hosny’s talents and legacy twelve years after her mysterious death in London.

Mirroring the multiplicity of these layers, Abouelnaga takes a still photograph from her memorable films, prints it on canvas or on paper, then works on the image using different acrylic colours, finishing it with layers of translucent materials such as silk and tulle. The completed work creates a shimmering effect to the viewer, echoing the beguiling character of the actress.

Opening Reception: OCTOBER 7th at 6 PM

Duration: OCTOBER 7TH-12TH

Location: Janet Rady Fine Art @ Gallery 8, Duke Street, London

Xerxes Art



Occasion: Xerxes Art gallery (London) presents solo exhibition by Iranian artist Afsoon titled “The Traveling Birds and The Flags of Dharma”.

Afsoon was born in Tehran in 1961. After spending her childhood in Iran, she moved to the USA in 1979, and then to the London, where she now lives and works. Occident and Orient coexist in her works which are multi layered and often combine text with images, using various media such as linocuts, photography, collage and etching. The results are rich and playful tableaux.

Opening Reception: Thursday 10 October at 6:30 PM

Duration: 11 Oct 2013 to 18 Nov 2013

Location: The Long Gallery at Grosvenor Place Project Space 19 Grosvenor Place London SW1X 7HT Vernissage: 18:30

Ayyam Gallery

Mouteea Mourad in DIFC


Occasion: Ayyam Gallery, Dubai is pleased to present ‘A Date with Spring’, an exhibition of new paintings by Syrian artist Mouteea Murad, which sees the artist merging architectural forms with rich colour.  Though drawing upon Murad’s experiences of conflict, the artist’s new paintings are defiantly optimistic, bearing titles which connote beauty and hope; his rejection of negativity in this new body of work serves as a cathartic process for the artist. With ‘Trial No. 91; When Spring Blooms’, Murad challenges the season’s appropriation in the term, ‘The Arab Spring’, which has become increasingly associated with violence, and employs colours that call to mind the blossoming of life during the Spring.

Opening Reception: Monday 21 October at 7pm

Duration: From 21 October to 5 December

Location: Ayyam Gallery, DIFC, Dubai

Ayyam Gallery

Abdulnasser Gharem in London

Abdulnasser Gharem, Installation view of The Stamp (Amen), Rubber on wooden stamp. Courtesy of the Artist and the Farook Collection.
Abdulnasser Gharem, Installation view of The Stamp (Amen), Rubber on wooden stamp. Courtesy of the Artist and the Farook Collection.

Occasion: Ayyam Gallery in partnership with Edge of Arabia invites you to the opening reception of the first major solo exhibition by Abdulnasser Gharem,  one of the most significant Saudi artist of his generation and the highest-selling living Arab artist. At the core of Gharem’s work is a negotiation between paving the way for progress (both artistically and socially) and maintaining a connection with Saudi heritage. His desire to preserve and build upon traditional art forms rather than break with the past is a radical gesture in the context of the recent history of Western contemporary art. Though frequently reflecting on and questioning sensitive issues, his work maintains a respect for history, and the influence of his military role can be felt with references to authority and use of established symbols of power and bureaucracy.

Opening Reception: Tuesday, 8 October at 6pm

Duration:  8 October – 8 November 2013

Location: Edge of Arabia, London.

Samia Halaby in London

Samia Halaby, Blue Landscape, 2013, Acrylic on Linen Canvas,167.5 x 122 cm. Courtesy: Ayyam Gallery
Samia Halaby, Blue Landscape, 2013, Acrylic on Linen Canvas,167.5 x 122 cm. Courtesy: Ayyam Gallery

Occasion: Ayyam Gallery London presents an exhibition of paintings by pioneering Palestinian artist Samia Halaby, who is widely credited with inspiring the new school of abstraction in contemporary Arab art. Over the past fifty years, Halaby has built upon historical abstraction in painting, such as that of the Russian Constructivists, merging this with traditional Arabic arts and Islamic architecture. Her rich and varied oeuvre is characterised by a compelling energy and an unceasing commitment to experimentation; in the mid 1980s, Halaby taught herself computer programming in order to create a series of digital kinetic paintings with sound later using her programmes to perform live with percussionists.

At the age of 77, she continues to produce work that challenges conventional approaches to painting and this latest exhibition at Ayyam Gallery London displays new abstraction emblematic of her innovative approach.

Opening Reception: October 9th at 6 – 8 PM

Duration:  9 October – 30 November 2013

Location: Ayyam Gallery, New Bond St. , London

Nadim Karam in Dubai

Nadim Karam, Angels Share, 2013, Mother of Pearl Bottons and White Feather on Stainless Steel Base,  210 (H) x  215.5 (W) x  40 (D) cm.
Nadim Karam, Angels Share, 2013, Mother of Pearl Bottons and White Feather on Stainless Steel Base, 210 (H) x 215.5 (W) x 40 (D) cm.

Occasion: Ayyam Gallery Al Quoz, Dubai presents ’99 Objects Possible to Find on a Cloud’, a major exhibition of acclaimed Lebanese artist, writer and architect Nadim Karam. Several new bodies of work will be shown alongside previously exhibited sculptures and paintings in a comprehensive survey of Karam’s recent artistic practice.

The exhibition will present an immersive and ambitious new installation, ‘Objects Possible to Find on a Cloud’ (2013). For this, Karam will present 99 printed works depicting fantastical combinations of elements from real life merged with his urban toy characters. The prints will both adorn the gallery walls and hang from the ceiling, creating a dreamlike ‘sky’ within the space. Other new works on show include the sculptures, ‘Cultural Warrior 1’, ‘Hannibal’ and the ‘Elephant’ (2013), featuring a dominant figure wielding a sceptre with the symbol of a cloud standing proudly atop an intricately carved elephant; and ‘The Walking Cloud’ (2013), a surreal and otherworldly form that emerges from a mass of white feathers and mother of pearl buttons.

Opening Reception: September 30th, 2013 at 7 PM

Duration:  30 September – 28 November 2013

Location: Ayyam Gallery, Alserkal Avenue (Al Qouz), Dubai.

Atheir in Beirut

Athier, The Birth of An Eagle 3, 2012, Acrylic on Canvas,  200 x 240 cm. Courtesy: Ayyam Gallery
Athier, The Birth of An Eagle 3, 2012, Acrylic on Canvas, 200 x 240 cm. Courtesy: Ayyam Gallery

Occasion: Ayyam Gallery Beirut presents ‘You’ll Never Thrill Me Because You’ll Never Kill Me’, an exhibition by Iraqi artist Athier, who explores symbols of nationhood, displacement and conflict in his recent body of work.

In his recent work Athier focuses on what he considers to be an addiction to conflict in the Arab world even in those not actively involved in conflict. He identifies this ‘addiction’ in the constant desire to either discuss death and destruction, or absorb images and footage of this. Athier sees this not just in the behaviour of other members of the Arab diaspora, but in his own; his personal preoccupation reflects both his desire to feel a connection with the region, and to ease the guilt felt at not participating in any conflicts after relocating to Europe before the Gulf war.

Opening Reception: Tuesday 15 October at 7pm

Duration:  15 October – 30 November 2013

Location: Ayyam Gallery, Beirut Towers, Beirut.

 Galerie Daniel Templon


David LaChapelle, "Would Be Martyr and 72 Virgins" 2008, Chromogenic print, 119 x 305 cm. Edition of 6 + 3 AP
David LaChapelle, “Would Be Martyr and 72 Virgins” 2008, Chromogenic print, 119 x 305 cm. Edition of 6 + 3 AP

Occasion: Galerie Daniel Templon is proud to announce the participation of DAVID LACHAPELLE and KEHINDE WILEY in the Musee d’Orsay new exhibition “Masculine/Feminine. The Nude Man in Art from 1800 to the Present Day”. The show opened on September 24 and will run through January 2, 2014.

Given that the 19th century took its inspiration from 18th century classical art, and that this influence still resonates today, the Musée d’Orsay is extending its traditional historical range in order to draw a continuous arc of creation through two centuries down to the present day, and includes the whole range of techniques: painting, sculpture, graphic arts and, of course, photography, which will have an equal place in the exhibition.

Location: Musee d’Orsay, Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, Paris 

Duration: September 24 and will run through January 2, 2014

Galerie Janine Rubeiz

Shirin Abu Shaqra and Ali Cherri’s “Somebody to Love”

Somebody to Love
Somebody to Love

Occasion: Galerie Janine Rubeiz invites you to “Somebody to Love” an installation project by artist Shirin Abu Shaqra and Ali Cherri. Shirin Abu Shaqra’s work often inhabits hybrid creatures. These freaky archetypical characters evolve in parallel worlds. As for Ali Cherri, the main concern is the representation of the body as subject to violence. In his work, the body appears as a metaphor, it is a space of battlefield.

The two artists have come together on this project to create two creatures that interact with each other in a physical/mental space. Shirin Abu Shaqra assembles a portable mannequin whose parts come from found and recycled objects. The memory of this incongruous body is displayed on an integrated screen placed in its head. Ali Cherri mounts a tower of digital screens to form a figure: the image becomes a body, which in its turn becomes an image…

Opening Reception: October 2nd, 2013 at 6 PM

Duration: from October 2nd to 25th, 2013

Location: Galerie Janine Rubeiz, Beirut.

Gallery 6

Omar Farid’s Hulluginations

by Omar Farid. courtesy: gallery 6
by Omar Farid. courtesy: gallery 6

Occasion: Gallery 6 invites you to solo exhibition by Omar Farid titled “Hulluginations”. Omar Farid’s imaginations are hallucinatory that could be coined as “Halluginations”. He has the ability of visualizing very succinctly the entire composition of his painting to the minute details with humans, objects, shapes, colours, and abstract formations. These crystallized thoughts are transcribed with immense skill on paper. Interestingly, the themes are derived from the circumstances or events that have happened or are likely to occur – which involve each viewer in mysterious ways.

Opening Reception: Thursday 03 October 2013. 5:00 – 8:00 pm

Duration: October 3rd – 20th, 2013

Location: Gallery 6, Islamabad.


Isabel Simões’s Rules for a subjective sundial

artwork by Isabel Simoes
artwork by Isabel Simoes

Occasion: In the exhibition Rules for a subjective sundial, Portuguese artsit Isabel Simões presents a group of works where she explores the way in which light and surfaces mutually define their visibility. Works that are both representation and the model itself question the possible naming of objects. The paintings on paper are the result of diverse moments of light over provoked volumes, which are again distended, and that also bear witness to the spatial conditions that shelter this process. Sometimes, a projected shadow of a vertical and stand alone element is merged into the surfaces, chosen in opposition to the walls and floor of the studio. A series of drawings made during the night to some extent inverts this functioning.

Opening Reception: Saturday, September 28 from 4 to 7 pm

Duration: September 28 – November 9, 2013

Location: Caroline Pagès Gallery, Portugal.

Leila Heller

Shoja Azari & Shahram Karimi’s Magic of Light

Shoja(Azari & Shahram Karimi, "Spring" 2007 - 2008. Video projection on  painted canvas.
Shoja(Azari & Shahram Karimi, “Spring” 2007 – 2008. Video projection on painted canvas.

Occasion: Mana Contemporary, in collaboration with Leila Heller Gallery, will feature the works by artist and filmmaker Shoja Azari with painter Shahram Karimi, in the exhibition, Magic of Light. The show will feature three collaborative video-painting series by Azari and Karimi, as well as a video installation by Shoja Azari. The Magic of Light emphasizes the subtle ways in which motion, texture, and light are used in all the works to further convey inherent emotions of loss, fear and nostalgia. Azari’s feature film K, based on three short stories by writer Franz Kafka, will also be on view for the duration of the exhibition.

On view is also Shoja Azari’s, There Are No Non Believers in Hell, a video installation informed by the timelessness of Renaissance art seen through the lens of contemporary existential anxiety. The video work, projected on two sides of cross hanging from the ceiling, creates a powerful yet disturbing experience:  famous old Master paintings including Caravaggio’s The Incredulity of Saint Thomas and Rembrandt’s Abraham’s Sacrifice of Isaac burn in front of the viewers eyesAs the paintings melt away into darkness, the voices of evangelical radicals preaching about hell as a reality on earth are heard throughout the room instilling a troubling sense of religious fervor.

Opening Reception: Sunday, September 29, 12 pm – 6 pm

Duration: September 29 – December 28, 2013

LocationMana Contemporary: 888 Newark Ave Jersey City, New Jersey

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