Mark Your Calendar For February

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! To check ongoing exhibitions from January, click here.

What’s On?!

V&A: Al Jamil Art Prize

ArtintheCity: ArtBus Artists Announced for March 2014

TheJamJar: Young Artists Programme


Alserkal Avenue: 

Maraya Art Center: Children Painting Workshops

CAP Kuwait: Stages of Ascent | Scattered, Gathered

Alhondiga Cultural & Art Center: Kontu Kantari

Sharjah Art Foundation: Programme announced for 2014 March Meeting

MoMA: Isaac Julien: Ten Thousand Waves

Bayt Lothan: Classes | Exhibitions | Workshops

Ashkal Alwan:  HWP 2013 – 2014

Art 14

London’s Global Art Fair

Courtesy to

Courtesy to

Occasion: Art14 London is the second edition of London’s global art fair sponsored by Citi Private Bank. With galleries from Lagos to Berlin, and from Beijing to Dubai, Art14 London will build on the success of the inaugural fair that welcomed 25,000 visitors, and deliver a truly international vision of contemporary and modern art.

12 galleries from the Middle East will participate in Art 14: JAMM (Kuwait/UAE), Galerie Janine Rubeiz (Lebanon), Art on 56th (Lebanon), Art Factum Gallery (Lebanon). Shirin Art Gallery (Iran/USA), Galerie Tanit (Lebanon/Germany), Athr Gallery (KSA), X-IST (Turkey), The Empire Project (Turkey), ALIF Gallery (UAE), Art Sawa (UAE), Art Space (UAE, UK).

For full Events details: Art & The City, Open Art and Global Private Museum Summit, click here . For Public Programs click here, and for full galleries participants click here.

Opening Reception: 27 February, 2014. For tickets click here.

Duration: Feb 28 – Mar 2, 2014.

LocationOlympia Grand Hall, London.

The Marrakech Biennale

From Here to Eternity

Artwork by: Afsoon featuring in Marrakech Biennale 5

Artwork by: Afsoon featuring in Marrakech Biennale 5

Occasion: The Marrakech Biennale 5 is a festival with the mission to build bridges between the cultures through the arts. 
We inspire outstanding artists from all over the world to create work that responds to the the magical environment of Marrakech.

Founded in 2004, we are celebrating not only the arts, but also our 10th anniversary with the Biennale’s 5th edition.

The fifth edition of Marrakech Biennale asks ‚Where are we now?’ through a dialogue between four disciplines: Visual arts, Cinema and video, Literature and Performing arts.

As part of the Biennale’s events, Dar Bellarj & Esav Marrakech invites you to join its multi activities, collective show & collaborations by several artists from around the world featuring visual art and contemporary designs, participating artists are: Afsoon, Share[d]esign, Kamar Studios, Malte Martin, Leila Alaoui, Alessandro Chiodo, Rey Gost and more!

Opening Reception: February 26th, 2014.

Duration: February 26th – March 31st, 2014

LocationMarrakech Biennale Association, Marrakech, Morocco.


Nasser Al Aswadi

Courtesy to JAMM Art Gallery

Courtesy to JAMM Art Gallery

Occasion: JAMM Art Gallery is pleased to present Nasser Al-Aswadi’s first solo exhibition in the UAE. Working across calligraphy in his paintings, Al-Aswadi finds words on his canvas a way to express feelings, emotions and thoughts without being linked to the language. He deals with a combination of letters, words and shapes in a very personal way in regards to their meanings, references and religious symbols.

The blossoming patterns between these shapes have created a profound impact on the artist and have given him a chance to experience his unlimited desire to create.

Nasser Al-Aswadi was born in 1978 in a small village of Hojar near Taiz, Yemen. He studied architecture at the Fine Arts Institute in Sana’a. His work has been exhibited in a number of group and solo exhibitions in Yemen and France.

Opening Reception: February 17 at 6 – 9 PM

Duration: Feb 18 – Mar 13, 2014.

Location: JAMM  Art Gallery, Al Quoz 1, Dubai.

Bayt Lothan

Mawruthna Al Hirafi

Courtesy to: Bayt Lothan

Courtesy to: Bayt Lothan

Occasion: Bayt Lothan, Kuwait’s leading cultural center, invites you to its 3rd annual Mawruthna Al Hirafiو an event that takes you back in time and showcases traditional Kuwaiti craftsmen and their lifestyle. Live music will be hosted by a variety of famous Kuwaiti artists.

Duration:  February the 16th to the 18th from 5pm to 9pm .

Location: Bayt Lothan, Kuwait

Hamazkayin Art Gallery

Carlos Sayadyan

Courtesy to: Hamazkayin Art Gallery

Courtesy to: Hamazkayin Art Gallery

Occasion: Hamazkayin Art Gallery is pleased to present Carlos Sayadyan. He is one of the the most significant names of Armenian Contemporary Art, who has created a unique signature through decades of work.

Opening Reception: Thursday, 20 February, 2014

Duration:  20 February until 10 March, 2014.

Location: Hamazkayin Art Gallery, Bourj Hammoud, Beirut.

Alexander Gray Associates

Dansaekhwa: The Korean Monochrome Movement

Yun Hyon-kuen, Untitled, 1986, detail, oil on canvas. Courtesy: Alexander Gray Associates

Yun Hyon-kuen, Untitled, 1986, detail, oil on canvas. Courtesy: Alexander Gray Associates

Occasion: Alexander Gray Associates presents the exhibition Overcoming the Modern; Dansaekhwa: Korean Monochrome Movement, guest curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, and accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue. In the late 1950s, a disparate number of young Korean artists discarded realism and figuration and adopted a monochromatic palette and artistic techniques that highlighted the flatness of the canvas as a foundation for later accretions and the physicality of the used materials used. By the mid-1970s they had become known as Danseakhwa: The Korean Monochrome Movement. Curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath. Artists participating: Chung Sang-hwa, Ha Chong-hyun, Hur Hwang, Lee Dong-Youb, Lee Ufan, Park Seo-bo,Yun Hyong-keun.

Opening Reception:  Wed., February 19, 2014, 6 – 8 pm

Duration: February 19 – March 29, 2014

Location: Alexander Gray Associates, New York. 

Sultan Gallery

IVAN: The Reconstruction of Narcissism


Occasion: Sultan Gallery invites you to IVAN: The Reconstruction of Narcissism, a debut composition by POWERHOUSE, explores the notion of using architecture and design as a vehicle for self-transformation by holding the design philosophy: “We are products of our products, therefore our products must reflect and encourage our own self- development.”

Each of the pieces encourages a stage of development through their individual characteristics, from form to function. The pieces Dither and Mull embolden the reconstructive process of narcissism, facilitating the users’ potential to develop. Adamantine and N+ stimulate the final stages of reconstruction, assisting the user’s culmination in this evolutionary process. The central piece of the environment, Ivan, serves as a division, or barrier of consciousness, by separating the pieces; urging the user to advance and progress. Together, the pieces serve to vitalize, and ease the user through the stages of this reconstructed narcissism.

POWERHOUSE is a composition initiative .
Nanu Al-Hamad (Al-Hamad Design) Kuwait / New York
Max Ketant (MEGA.DOPE.POP) Haiti / New York

Opening Reception: February 4 at 7:00pm

Duration: February 4 until February 27 at 5:00pm

Location: Sultan Gallery, Kuwait

 XVA Gallery

Halona Hilbertz, Colleen Quigley & Jakob Roepke ‘Curiouser & Curiouser’

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Occasion: Imitating a leisurely wander through a neighborhood curiosity shop, XVA Gallery’s upcoming exhibition will intrigue and delight you with a mix of eclectic miniature art pieces. Each individual work assumes a sense of whimsy, an air of other worldliness or flight of fancy to engage and enthrall. While spinning surreal tales of the absurdities of life, these little enigmatic pictures and sculptures make us wonder and yet leave us with more answers than questions.

The exhibition comprises encaustic collages with antique 19th century engravings by Dubai based artist Colleen Quigley, mixed media miniature works composed with antique maps and wall-paper by artist Jakob Roepke and 3D sculptures constructed from natural and man-made found objects by Halona Hilbertz.

Opening Reception: February 8th for an all-day opening event 10 am – 8 pm. Special musical performance by composer Barnaby Priest from 5-6 pm.

Duration: 3 February 2014 until March 13, 2014

Location:  XVA Gallery, Al Fahidi Neighborhood, Bur Dubai

Gallery Wendi Norris

Wolfgang Paalen’s Philosopher of the Possible

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Occasion: Wolfgang Paalen: Philosopher of the Possible features a selection of works by one of the twentieth century’s most catalyzing Surrealist artists. In this second solo show for Paalen (Austrian, 1905-1959), Gallery Wendi Norris presents works dating from 1932 to 1954, including the artist’s largest sculpture and painting ever produced. The show is accompanied by a fully illustrated 60-page catalogue.

Opening Reception: Thursday, February 6, 2014, 6-8 pm

Duration: February 6 – March 29, 2014

Location: Gallery Wendi Norris, San Francisco

Simone Leigh’s Code Switch

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Occasion: Gallery Wendi Norris invites you to visit Simone Leigh’s west coast solo debut, Code Switch. Much like Surrealist masters of the 20th Century, Leigh imbues organic forms with layers of poetic resonance and meaning, evoking references to human sexuality, racial politics, and dynamic cultural histories. Inspired by ethnographic objects, human anatomy, and depictions of African Americans from American history, Leigh exposes stereotypes about black and female bodies as artificial cultural constructs by transforming them into bold and provocative works of art.

Opening Reception: Thursday, February 6, 2014, 6-8 pm

Duration: February 6-March 29, 2014

Location: Gallery Wendi Norris, San Francisco


Orient Gallery

 “Syrian Art in Hard Times”


Occasion: Orient Gallery in Amman and Art Residence Aley in Beirut are cosponsoring an exhibition titled “Syrian Art in Hard Times”. Seven Syrian artists will take part in this exhibition: Adnan Abd El Rahman, Hasko Hasko, Rabee Kiwan, Husien Tarabieh, Khaled Al Boushi, Remy Haddad and Mohamad Omran.

In contrast to mainstream media reports, the exhibition seeks to provide a different perspective on the Syrian crisis from the creative minds of those living it. Through the lens of the artists, the exhibition shows how war has discoloured Syria. Despite their bruises, the art speaks out: we are very much alive

Opening Reception: February 4 at 6:00pm

Duration: February 4 at 6:00pm until February 27

Location: Orient Gallery, Amman, Jordan

Ayyam Gallery Jeddah

Contemporary Kingdom


Occasion:  Ayyam Gallery Jeddah is pleased to announce Contemporary Kingdom, an exhibition of six contemporary Saudi Arabian artists. Spanning three generations, each artist in the show is specifically featured for their creative dynamism and consistent development in pushing the boundaries of contemporary and conceptual art in Saudi Arabia.

In Contemporary Kingdom, Faisal Samra, Maha Malluh, Abdulnasser Gharem, Rashed Al Shashai, Shaweesh and Huda Beydoun will exhibit artworks addressing, as well as embodying the spirit of, the rapid modernity that has impacted the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Ranging in age from twenty to sixty, the varied perspectives and diversity of media will present a truly inclusive exhibition, engaging audiences with the wide spectrum of ideas present in Saudi Arabia and starting a creative dialogue.

Representing the younger generation, Huda Beydoun and Shaweesh both utilize Western Pop cultural symbology. While  Rashed Al Shashai and Abdulnasser Gharem from second generation comment on the ecological impact modernity has had in the region and larger world. And finally, representing the third generation is Faisal Samra and Maha Malluh with her 3 photograms from her Tradition and Modernity series and Samra’s The Other Body series that explores the possibilities of industrial media, placing his work at the intersection of sculpture and painting.

Opening Reception: Monday, 3 February from 7:00 – 9:00pm

Duration: 3 February – 28 February 2014

Location: Ayyam Gallery Jeddah

Ayyam Gallery London

Faisal Samra C.D.R – Construction, Destruction & Reconstruction


Occasion: Ayyam Gallery London is pleased to announce C.D.R – Construction, Destruction & Reconstruction, Saudi Arabian artist Faisal Samra’s first solo exhibition in the United Kingdom. Faisal Samra has long been intrigued by the process of creation, ‘living with it each moment of the day, even during sleeping, therefore [he] wanted to treat this subject in [the] artwork itself’. Thoughts on the process of creation reached new dimensions as Samra began to consider not only construction, but also destruction and reconstruction in relation to the Middle East, the concept of the ego, and the human body.

A featured work of a more personal nature also explores the process of construction, destruction and reconstruction. A polyptych documents Samra’s wife undergoing chemotherapy after a diagnosis of breast cancer and shows the three stages of ‘Zeina’ – before, during and after the treatment. The body is the primary example in which to witness the process of perpetual creation, destruction and regrowth. Just as our bodies are susceptible to threats, so too is the land where the artist lives and works.

Opening Reception: Thursday, 13 February from 6:00-8:00pm

Duration: 13 February – 29 March

Location: Ayyam Gallery London


Ayyam Gallery Dubai

Samia Halaby: Five Decades of Painting and Innovation


Occasion: Ayyam Gallery, Dubai (Al Quoz) is pleased to present Samia Halaby: Five Decades of Painting and Innovation, the first major retrospective to be organized for the renowned artist. Curated by art historian Maymanah Farhat, this comprehensive survey will feature over fifty works of art, representing every period of the artist’s oeuvre and the many creative experiments and breakthroughs that have resulted.

Central to this theoretical treatment are nonobjective strategies that attempt to examine and communicate physical properties as they are experienced in reality, namely the relationships of light and color that create depth, volume, and movement, the numbers and rhythms constituting the growth of forms, and the continuous state of motion, or space and time, defining the fourth dimension. What this has meant is that each successive series of painting over the span of fifty years of work has served as the site of observation, scientifically-informed analysis, and an engagement with pre-modern forms of abstraction, mainly Islamic art, alongside a reconsideration of the lessons of seminal modern art movements—from Impressionism to Abstract Expressionism.

In addition to the work on show, there will be a book signing of the new monograph entitled Samia Halaby, Five Decades of Painting and Innovation and an artist talk at the opening event on 19 February from 7-8pm.

Opening Reception: Wednesday, 19 February from 8-10pm

Duration: 19 February – 30 April

Location: Ayyam Gallery Dubai (Al Quoz)

Mark Hachem Gallery

Fatima Mortada’s Labyrinth 

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Occasion: Mark Hachem Gallery (Beirut) presents solo exhibition Labyrinth by Fatima Mortada.  Labyrinth aims to trouble the relation between the body and the pre-supposed perceptions about the body. Labyrinth troubles the pseudo distinction between the two genders. Labyrinth points to confuse the viewer and makes him/her re- conceptualise his/her assumptions about the body.

What is the Body? It is not a question, but, regarding these works, it is the snake in the grass that disorders the identity of gender. Hence, the question is: Is the gendering of the body a prior given, or is it subjected to cultural conditions? Correspondingly, the works are an invitation to enter the Labyrinth of this question.

Opening Reception: February 7 from 6:00pm until 9:00pm

Duration: From 7 – 20 February, 2014

Location: Mark Hachem Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon.


FA Gallery

Talal Al Maian


Occasion: FA Gallery invites you to solo exhibition by Talal Al Maian.

Opening Reception: February 9 at 7:00pm

Duration: February 9 – 23, 2014.

Location: FA Gallery, Sharq, Kuwait.

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