In addition to the monthly list, I will add “What’s On?!” a link to most active initiative and hubs across the Middle East & the world such as V&A, MoMA, 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 on Mark Your Calendar Page! To check ongoing exhibitions from December, click here.
V&A: Al Jamil Art Prize
ArtintheCity: Islamic Art Festival
TheJamJar: Young Artists Programme
DUCTAC: Peace in Open Space
Alserkal Avenue: Black Rainbow at Carbon 12 | Farida Kahilo by Mawaheb
Maraya Art Center: Video Mapping
CAP Kuwait: Stages of Ascent
Alhondiga Cultural & Art Center: Kontu Kantari
Sharjah Art Foundation: 5 Broken Cameras by Emad Burnat & Guy Davidi
MoMA: American Modern: Hopper to O’Keeffe
Bayt Lothan: Classes | Exhibitions | Workshops
Ashkal Alwan: HWP 2013 – 2014
Children of Gaza
Foresight32 Art Gallery
Ezieh Al-Sharif’s Paper Games
Occasion: Foresight32 Art Gallery cordially invites you to attend an art exhibition entitled Paper Games By Ezieh Al-Sharif . Al-Sharif (1986)
A Palestinian artist born in Damascus, Syria majored in Visual Art from the Fine Art College in Damascus in 2008, she participated in numerous group exhibitions in Syria between 2007 and 2011 in the German Cultural Center, the French Cultural Center in Damascus and participated in an art exhibition along with three artists at the George Kamel Gallery. Al Sharif’s first solo exhibition was hosted by the French Ambassador H.E Mr. Erick Showvalier at his residence in 2010.
Opening Reception: Tuesday January 28,2014 At 6: 00 pm
Duration: January 28 until February 16,2014.
Location: Foresight Art Gallery, Amman, Jordan
Maraya Art Center
In The Absence of Script
Occasion: Maray Art Center invites you to “In The Absence of Script” group exhibition curated by Emirati young artist Noor Al Suwaidi, engaging five artists of mix mediums to visually think about the use of language and text in context of contemporary society. Participating artists are:
Alaa Edris, Zeinab Al Hashemi, Vikram Divesha, Salem Al Qassimi, Walid Al Wawi.
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 25 at 7 PM
Duration: January 25 – March 5, 2014
Location: Maraya Art Center, Sharjah, UAE.
Mohammadreza Sharifzadeh’s A Woman’s Face In the Crowd
Occasion: Etemad Dubai is pleased to announce A Woman’s Face In the Crowd, an exhibition of new photographs by Mohammadreza Sharifzadeh for his first solo exhibition in the UAE.
Using digital photography, painting and calligraphy, this series is a continuation of previous works that were censored when presented in Iran last year, and akin to other examples of censorship in Iranian art history. These works show the images of women informing the social sphere of contemporary Iran and are continually being informed by it.
Opening Reception: 29 January 2014, 7-10pm
Duration: January 29 – March 13, 2014
Location: Etemad Gallery Dubai, Al Quoz 1, UAE.
Flora Feizbakhsh’s The Fourth Creation
Occasion: Etemad Tehran invites you to solo exhibition by Iranian artist Flora Feizbakhsh “The Fourth Creation”.Feizbakhsh belongs to a contemporary generation of female Iranian painters who focus on social plight the main subject in many of her works. In the most delicate yet objective manner, she depicts the contemporary woman with all her fears, insecurities loneliness and inequalities forced upon her by the very nature of our societies.
Her recent works capture elements of nature which are deeply rooted in her subconscious and are a reflection of her inner world. The result is both traditional and yet truly contemporary and sets her apart from what we have come to expect from Iranian painters in many decades.
Opening Reception: 24 January 2014, 3-8pm
Duration: January 24 – February 4 2014
Location: Etemad Gallery – Tehran, Iran
India Art Fair 2014
Occasion: India Art Fair held in New Delhi, is South Asia’s leading art fair for modern and contemporary art from across the world. The 6th edition of the fair is poised to take forward its activities with renewed impetus to excellence.
The India Art Fair continues to be one of the worlds most attended events of its kind, attracting over 400,000 people since its inception. In the 6th edition we present 91 exhibiting booths and 1000 artist from around the world comprising of 50% international and 50% Indian galleries, line up of 24 unique art projects, wide range of curated walks, first edition of Mentor and Protégé Program, Museums showcasing at the fair, Influential voices to cater to varied audience of art enthusiasts at the Speakers’ Forum and an extensive VIP programme across Delhi to provide a holistic cultural experience.
To view list of participating galleries, click here.
Duration: January 30 – February 2, 2014
Monira Al Qadiri’s “Muhawwil” (Transformer)
Occasion: “Muhawwil” is a four-channel video installation based on Islamic figurative murals painted on electric power stations in Kuwait. These murals mark a transformation in religious discourse within Gulf societies: where once only calligraphic depictions of this nature were allowed, today’s pop-culture and mass-production of images have forced conservative entities to reconsider this tradition and take up a mutated technique to convey moral advice – wall paintings. This project reconstructs these paintings into animation, so as to highlight the dilemma of representation that exists between the ancient and the modern.
This project was produced with the support of The Arab Fund for Arts & Culture (AFAC).
Opening Reception: January 21, 2014 7-9pm
Duration: 22nd until 28th January 6-9pm
Location: Sultan Gallery, Kuwait
Mohammed Ibrahim’s Primordial
Occasion: Cuadro Gallery is proud to present Primordial, a solo exhibition featuring monumental, career defining sculptural works by Mohammed Ibrahim. Ibrahim is a pioneering Emirati artist whose art practice focuses on primitive forms and techniques while employing earthen materials from his native Khorfakkan.
Throughout his work, Mohammed unabashedly confronts and reconciles fundamental questions about our relationship to our primitive selves, to the natural world, and to one another.
Opening Reception: January 22
Duration: January 22nd 2014 to March 6th 2014
Location: Cuadro Art Gallery, DIFC, DUBAI.
Leila Heller Gallery
Murat Pulat’s Image-Animal
Occasion: Turkish artist Murat Pulat’s first solo show in New York City will be on view at Leila Heller Gallery. Image-Animal will feature 10 paintings depicting iconic scenes from old Hollywood movies, New Wave French films, and 1960s television shows. A three-dimensional painting installation by Pulat will be on view in the Gallery’s front windows.
Using oil on canvas, Pulat transforms the silver screen to a work of fine art. Screen sirens such as Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and Mia Farrow grace Pulat’s canvases in the form of richly toned, textured paintings.
Glass Studio (2013) depicts one of the most iconic scenes in Hollywood film: Janet Leigh behind the wheel of a Ford Sedan from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Using various tones of grey, Pulat references the black and white nature of the original film. However, the artist breaks away from realism of a film-still by highlighting Leigh’s face and the car’s rear window with saturated shades of aquamarine and blue. This notion of referencing the antiquated features of the original film while introducing his own interpretation through color is common in Pulat’s practice as he reminds the viewer of something familiar yet new at once.
Opening Reception: January 16, 6-8 pm
Duration: January 16 – February 15, 2014.
Location: Leila Heller Gallery, Chelsea, NYC.
Occasion: Leila Heller Gallery is pleased to present Modern Wonder, the gallery’s first collaboration with New York artist Matilde Alessandra. Two new dynamic light sculptures entitled Modern Wonder will be on view, along with one of the artist’s most iconic works,Madame.
Alessandra is known for her dazzling light sculptures. The singular use of fluorescent tubes permeates in all of her works, spanning from sculpture and industrial design to site-specific installations. Alessandra’s light pieces are like abstract dioramas, minimalist tableaux that exist independently from their surroundings, glowing from within. Inside them, light dialogues and relates with forms, materials and painted surfaces; it plays a catalyst role in making the picture appear in its finished state, yet it is constantly subjected to the other elements of the work.
Modern Wonder was created specifically for the windows of Leila Heller Gallery. While the title is self-explanatory, the basis of these works is the visual similarity between the two words and the false impression that they are anagrams mirroring each other – hence the flickering colors, the upside-down W that becomes an M – using the notion that our eyes can trick us, jumping ahead of our minds. Madame, an iconic piece from the artist’s earlier series, plays with the concept of peeping and voyeuristic pleasure.
Opening Reception: January 15, 2014
Duration: January 15 – March 22, 2014
Location: Leila Heller Gallery’s 11th Avenue Windows space.
Hassan Hajjaj’s Kesh Angels
Occasion: Taymour Grahne Gallery is proud to present ‘Kesh Angels, a solo exhibition of work by the Moroccan-born, UK-based artist, Hassan Hajjaj. Marking the artist’s first exhibition in New York, ‘Kesh Angels presents a unique take on the vibrant street culture of Morocco and pays tribute to the biker culture of the young women of Marrakesh in a series of photographs, limited edition objects, an installation, and a video.
Hajjaj’s work plays with and upends stereotypes, the power of branding, and the familiarity of everyday objects, applying a ‘street-wise’ approach to his layering of influences, items, and cultural signifiers to imbue the work with an electrifying tension. His confident, upbeat portraits of young women wearing veils and djellabah while posing on motorcycles subvert preconceived notions of Arab women; his subjects are traditionally clad but defiantly modern, bearing bright smiles and the markers of youth, independence, celebration, and fun.
Borrowing from the tradition of African studio photography and the glossy aesthetic of the fashion shoot, Hajjaj’s work combines the personal with the political, the individuality of his subjects framed by consumer goods and adorned with the trappings of culture and branding. The handcrafted inlaid wood frames are made up of quotidian branded objects like soda cans and Moroccan packaging, mixing old and new, both responding to and completing the works they surround.
Opening Reception: January 28, 2014
Duration: Jan 28 – Mar 2, 2014
Location: Taymour Grahne Gallery, New York City.
Dubai: The Young Collectors Auction
Occasion: The Young Collectors Auction returns to Ayyam Gallery with an exciting lineup for collectors in 2014. Join us at the first auction of the new year on January 21, 2014 at Ayyam Gallery, Dubai (Al Quoz). The auction presents an opportunity for both the seasoned and aspiring collector to bid on an array of carefully selected works from established and emerging artists from the region. Incorporating painting, photography, limited-edition prints, sculpture and installation, over 75 lots will range in price from $2,000 to $25,000, offering a unique opportunity to invest in some of the most exciting contemporary artists working in the Middle East today.
As a platform for unearthing new talent and providing international exposure for emerging and established artists, the January auction will feature silkscreens by renowned Palestinian artist Samia Halaby, sculpture and paintings by Lebanese artist Nadim Karam, paintings by Syrian artist Thaier Helal and Iranian artist Afshin Pirhashemi, photographs by Lebanese artists Lara Zankoul and Mohammad Badr, an intriguing installations by the late Egyptian artist Amal Kenawy and young Palestinian artist Abdulrahman Katanani, and limited-edition prints by Syrian Safwan Dahoul and Saudi artist Abdulnasser Gharem, who holds the record as the highest selling Gulf artist, amongst others.
Viewing: 14 January – 20 January 2014, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Auction Date: Tuesday, 21 January 2014 at 7:00 pm
Location: Ayyam Gallery, Al Qouz (Al Serkal Avenue), Dubai.
Alexander Gray Associates
Talk With with Artist Hassan Sharif & Critic Murtaza Vali
Occasion: Alexander Gray Associates invites you for a conversation with Hassan Sharif and curator, Murtaza Vali, in conjunction with Sharif’s exhibition at Alexander Gray Associates.
Murtaza Vali is a critic, curator, editor, and Visiting Instructor at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, USA. He received an MA in Art History and Archaeology from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts (2004). A recipient of a 2011 Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for Short-Form Writing, he is a Contributing Editor at ArtAsiaPacific and an Editorial Correspondent for Ibraaz.org, and his writing has appeared in numerous international publications and in catalogues for galleries and nonprofit institutions. He was most recently Guest Curator for the Abraaj Group Art Prize 2013, and his previous curatorial projects include Accented (2010) at BRIC Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn, USA, andBrute Ornament (2012) at Green Art Gallery, Dubai, UAE. He also edited Manual for Treason, a multilingual publication commissioned by the Sharjah Art Foundation for Sharjah Biennial 10 (2011). He lives and works between Sharjah, UAE and Brooklyn, USA.
Date: Friday, January 17 at 6 PM
Location: Alexander Gray Associates, New York City. To RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hassan Sharif Solo Exhibition
Occasion: The exhibition features recent works by Hassan Sharif, accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalog and a conversation between the artist and independent curator Murtaza Vali. Sharif (b.1951, Dubai, United Arab Emirates) is recognized as a pioneer of conceptual art and experimental practice in the United Arab Emirates, and has highly influenced the region’s artistic landscape through his art and writings. Sharif’s second exhibition at the Gallery focuses on the his recent developments in two ongoing series, Semi-Systems (1983–2014) and Objects (1982–2014).
Hassan Sharif is a founder of the Emirates Fine Art Society and Art Atelier in the Youth Theater and Arts, Dubai, and in 2007 was one of four artists to establish The Flying House, a Dubai institution to promote contemporary Emirati artists. The first Emirati to have his work shown in the Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha, Sharif was also selected to be the debut artist to represent the U.A.E. in its first national pavilion of the 2009 Venice Biennale. In 2011, Sharif was the subject of a retrospective exhibition, Hassan Sharif: Experiments & Objects 1979-2011 curated by Catherine David and Mohammed Kazem, presented by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture & Heritage/Platform for Visual Arts. Sharif’s artwork is included in the collections of the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar; the Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah, U.A.E.; the Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah; the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; the Sittard Center, The Netherlands; Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris; and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.
Duration: January 8 – February 8, 2014
Location: Alexander Gray Associates, New York City.
Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde
Nargess Hashemi’s The Pleasure in Boredom
Occasion: In her latest solo show in Dubai, Nargess Hashemi (b. 1979, Tehran) takes a new direction, deviating from largely figurative works centering around themes of domesticity and everyday life and moving in a surprising new trajectory.
The Pleasure in Boredom charts Hashemi’s process of developing over ten years worth of experimentation on graph paper. Doodling in notebooks from a young age, during long, tedious car journeys and over extended visits with family and friends, the practice has become somewhat of a lifelong obsession for the artist. Using only the most basic materials, Hashemi adopts a commonly unfocused and subliminal practice and refines it, resulting in vibrant artworks of great complexity.
The title of the exhibition references an essay by E.H. Gombrich, in which the art historian examines the psychology behind the act of doodling and explores its artistic merit. A doodle by its very nature is a subconscious impulse, something that we are naturally compelled to do in a dreamlike, absentminded state. In her new series, Hashemi has evolved this instinctual act into artistic endeavors of great structure and precision.
Duration: January 12 – February 27 2014
Location: Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, AlQouz, Dubai.
Green Art Gallery
Ross Chisholm Testament
Occasion: Green Art Gallery is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition of British artist Ross Chisholm in Dubai, marking his first presentation in the Middle East.
Inspired by eighteenth century British artists including Thomas Gainsborough and Joshua Reynolds, Chisholm’s paintings consist of historical images with a modern twist. Ranging from 18th-century British society portraits and genre scenes to 1970s vacation snapshots sourced from flea markets, Chisholm distorts traditional portraiture with interventions and various manipulations – such as injecting geometric abstraction, combining figures from different centuries, or even updating a noblewoman’s fashion with 1980s punk accents.
In Chisholm’s new body of work, the artist continues with his portrait/abstraction series, the original image being less visible than in works previous. Chisholm has developed a particular painterly language in the wake of his previous transcriptions of the society portraits. As if they were after-images of the historical works, where he has withdrawn the detailed processes of reproduction and left the residue of those practices to congeal into vaguely figurative abstractions.
Duration: 11 January 2014 – 10 March 2014
Location: Green Art Gallery, Al Quoz (Al Serkal Avenue) Dubai
Galerie Daniel Templon
Gérard Garouste’s Unspeakable Tales
Occasion: Galerie Daniel Templon presents solo exhibition by Gérard Garouste with Contes ineffables (Unspeakable Tales). The new exhibition journeys into the world of myths and fables, a voyage the artist uses to evoke universal questions such as our relationship to time, other people and knowledge.
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 11, 2014
Duration: January 11 – February 26, 2014
Location: Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris.
Occasion: Gallery 6 in collaboration with International Creative Art Center of Mumbai, organized a painting exhibition at Ni Gufa art gallery in Ahmedabad, India, in August 2013. Sixteen artists with their 47 paintings participated as goodwill ambassadors from Pakistan. The exhibition was vandalised by the members of Bajrang Dal having anti-Pakistan emotions.
These paintings have returned home with the efforts of many friends. Out of 47 paintings, 30 survived with or without minor bruises, 14 are badly damaged and 3 are missing. Since the attack in August till their return in December, all the participating artists showed remarkable support to us. Gallery 6 salutes these resilient ambassadors of goodwill and presents these historical paintings in this show.
Duration: From January 8 – 19, 2014
Location: Gallery 6, Islamabad
Art Stage Singapore
Occasion: On the occasion of ART STAGE SINGAPORE, Mark Hachem will be presenting a collective exhibition on ‘The Awakening of the Middle East’, a selection amongst the established artists from the Middle East.
The subconsciousness of our societies, in the Middle East is represented by images of war and destruction. The analysis of identity and of human condition is intensely present in a context at times both local and global. From Egypt to Iran via the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and Turkey, these artists react and respond to local events in their countries of origin with a vision and depth that seems to put back into question our cultural prejudices. Faced up to these events, a dialogue is created between the artists around the themes of human condition, environment, urban life, consumerism, the role of women and notions of tradition and iconography.
Duration: JANUARY 16 – 19, 2014
Location: Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore.