In addition to the monthly list, I will add “What’s On?!” a link to most active initiatives, hubs and museums 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 April, click here.
If you have a non-profit or commercial gallery and like to be featured in upcoming lists, drop us an email.
Bayt Lothan: Classes | Exhibitions | Workshops
The National Council for Culture
Occasion: The National Council for Culture, Arts and Literatures invites you to attend the announcement of Acquiring Modernity, Kuwait’s 2nd pavilion at the International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. Followed by Q&A discussion.
Opening: Thursday May 1st 2014 7 PM.
Location: Kuwait National Museum Theater, Kuwait.
Galleria Marie-Laure Fleisch, Rome
Occasion: Galleria Marie-Laure Fleisch throughout May present a list of exhibitions in New York City: Codification of Intimacy: Works on Niklas Luhmann, Bremen (Germany): Young collection 01 – Nullpunkt aller Orte, Athens (Greece): A Thousand Doors , Berlin (Germany): Japan Syndrome, Bex (Switzerland): Émergences | Group show. New York City: The Vertebrae Oracle. Vienna (Austria): Drawing on Drawing , Sao Paulo (Brazil ): O/A Artista Como. Göttingen (Germany): Movement Matters. Milan, (Italy): Quinta Essentia.
Click on event / exhibition to know details of date & location.
The Arab Cultural Club in Sharjah
May Murad’s Musical Spectrum
Occasion: The Arab Cultural Club in Sharjah is honored to invite you to the opening of the third solo exhibition ” Musical spectrum ” for the Palestinian artist May Murad.
Opening: Friday, May 2nd 2014 at 7:30 PM
Location: The Arab Cultural Club, Sharjah
LAND OF NO HORIZON Opening May 2
SVA Gramercy Gallery, NYC
Obsoletely Fabulous Opening May 5
Dubai (DIFC): Ramin Shirdel Whispers of Love
Occasion: Ayyam Gallery Dubai (DIFC) is pleased to invite you to the opening reception of Whispers of Love, the solo exhibition of Tehran-based artist and architect Ramin Shirdel. Whispers of Love will feature ten recent large-scale assemblage works by the artist. Each work is created using an accumulative process in which an average of fifteen hundred painted pieces come together to form layers that further come together to spell out either words or individual letters in Farsi-Arabic script. At first glance the assemblage of script in red, yellow, purple, blue, and green evoke the conceptualism of nineteen-sixties era American art. However, Shirdel’s artistic influences are much closer to home and may be traced back centuries, an immediate source being the pictorial transformations of text found in calligraphic examples of Islamic art. In Shirdel’s compositions, words built upon the surface of artworks are inspired by the theme of love and may be understood as an ashegh (lover) narrating or bestowing praise upon his beloved.
Opening Reception: Monday, 5 May from 7-9PM
Duration: 5 May – 5 June
Location: Ayyam Gallery Dubai (DIFC)
Ayyam Gallery London: Walid El Masri Cocoon
Occasion: Ayyam Gallery London is pleased to announce Cocoon, a solo exhibition by Paris-based Lebanese painter Walid El Masri. Featuring a new body of work, Cocoon will reflect a departure from the artist’s ongoing Chair series in which an inanimate object provided a point of entry for meditative explorations of the equilibrium of life despite its unpredictable nature. In contrast, the artist’s recent works have been inspired by the violent conflict that has besieged his native Syria.
In the new series, El Masri continues formal investigations of movement, repetition, and the transcendence of the boundaries of the picture plane through expressive compositions that utilize space to create a sense of instability in the representation of time. Here, movement refers to four stages in the life-cycle of a butterfly, with a cocoon being, “the silky envelope spun by the larvae of many insects, as silkworms, serving as a covering while they are in the pupal stage,” whereas repetition refers to multiple representations of the same subject, and transcendence refers to the reach beyond the physical limits of the canvas, causing the viewer to find himself in media res, surrounded by pictorial elements.
Opening Reception: Thursday, 5 June from 6-8pm
Duration: 5 June until 2 August, 2014.
Location: Ayyam Gallery London
Ayyam Jeddah: Contemporary Arabia
Occasion: Ayyam Gallery Jeddah is pleased to present Contemporary Arabia, a multimedia exhibition featuring a selection of established and emerging Arab artists, including Samia Halaby, Tammam Azzam, and Shaweesh. Contemporary Arabia will mark the first time a broad survey of Ayyam Gallery’s stable of artists has been shown in the Kingdom. Representing several generations of painters and photographers from across the region, this forthcoming group show will highlight the myriad ways that today’s painters and photographers are exploring the intricacies of modern life through such themes as the impact of globalisation, the presence of militarised conflicts, and the oversaturation of media that has redefined our everyday existence. Other points of departure include explorations of form, such as visceral uses of colour, symphonic brushwork, and ethereal compositions, as springboards for sensory associations.
Opening Reception: Monday, 5 May from 7-9PM
Duration: 5 May – 13 June, 2014
Location: AYYAM GALLERY, JEDDAH.
Dar Al Funoon
6th Affordable Art Show
Occasion: Dar Al Funoon cordially invites you to its 6th Affordable Art Show. The show will feature a rich variety of styles ranging from works on paper, limited editions and originals by local and international young, emerging and established artists. Artists include: Dia Azzawi, Hussein Madi, Rashid Diab, Jamal Abdul Rahim, Hamza Bounoua, Dominik Jasinski, Shohei Takasaki, F160, Brock Jones and Ayah Khair.
Opening Reception: Tuesday May 6th, 2014 from 7 – 9 pm
Duration: May 6 – May 8
Location: Dar Al Funoon, Kuwait.
Jamal Abdel Raheem “Inspirations of Suma”
Occasion: Orient Gallery (Jordan) invites you to solo exhibition by Bahraini artist Jamal Abdel Raheem “Inspirations of Suma”. He is one of Bahrain’s most established and highly regarded contemporary artists, exhibiting his work in Europe and the Middle East. The award-winning artist builds his art from the movement of society deeply rooted in rich Arab civilization and heritage.
Although he is known as a printmaker and painter, he has become an avid sculpting fan. In the world of print he discovered from an early age that printing and etching were what he wanted to do most as it is an endless adventure. He has already spent almost 25 years exploring the field of printing and he is willing to spend the rest of his life doing so.
Opening Reception: Tuesday, May 6th from 6 – 9 PM
Duration: May 6 – May 29
Location: Orient Gallery, Amman
Boushahri Art Gallery, Kuwait
Sinan Hussein Exhibition Opening May 6
392 RMEIL 393 Gallery
Omar Ibrahim Falling Dreams
Occasion: Your are the most welcome to the opening of Mr. Omar Ibrahim exhibition “Falling Dreams” at ”392RMEIL393” gallery. For this exhibition, Ibrahim has used horses to represent everyday people searching for an escape. The wildness of the animals suggests the freedom with which people create dreams for their own lives, while their bondage reflects the ways in which those aspirations are frustrated or destroyed by circumstance. But though his horses are tied and entangled, falling through space – still they are resisting. In the background, cities and trees recall the scenery of the artist’s life in Syria.
Opening Reception: May 8 , 2014 at 6 PM
Duration: May 8 – May 25, 2014
Location: 392 RMEIL 393 gallery, Gemmayze, Beirut
Ayesha Sultana Outside the Field of View
Occasion: Rooted in process and the act of making, Ayesha Sultana’s first solo, Outside the Field of View opening at Experimenter, provides an insight into her ongoing investigation of drawing, of seeing space in continuum, of exploring gaps in visual memory and of looking at the periphery and what is overlooked in plain sight.
In a constantly evolving process, Sultana’s work cannot be identified as belonging to a single artistic tendency. She concurrently works in different mediums and techniques, but with a specific interest in the features of materials she uses in the act of making. This leads to other ways of looking and engaging, in the relevance of formal properties of various materials and the depth of meaning of the medium itself. Having discarded the narrative, she often uses drawing as a verb, of ‘doing’ whether by cutting, folding, piercing, layering, recording, tracing, removing, scratching and so on. A pair of works in the exhibition, made by photocopying for instance, is an extension of that process of investigation, taking its initial source from photography, and later enlarging and creating multiple copies of the same.
Opening Reception: Friday, May 9, 6 – 8 pm
Duration: 9 May – 26 June
Location: EXPERIMENTER, India.
AP Contemporary, Hong Kong
Secret de Boudoir: HONG WAI CONTEMPORARY INK ART
Opening May 9
Aaran Gallery, Tehran
Siamak Filizadeh Underground Opening May 9th
Green Art Gallery, Dubai
Jaber Al Azmeh The Resurrection
Occasion: Green Art Gallery invites you to solo exhibition by Syrian artist Jaber Al Azmeh.
Opening Reception: Saturday 10 May, 5 – 8 pm
Duration: 10 May – 26 June 2014
Location: Green Art Gallery, Dubai.
Meem Gallery, Dubai
Kamal Boullata Exhibition Opening May 12
The Mosaic Rooms and ARIA, London
INTERVENING SPACE: From the Intimate to the World
Opening May 15
Joanna Seikaly Art Gallery
Michel Ayoub “OF MEN AND MACHINES”
Occasion: Joanna Seikaly Art Gallery invites you to Lebanese artist Michel Ayoub solo exhibition “OF MEN AND MACHINES” an exhibition of sculptures and mixed media works inspired by the science of cybernetics.
Opening Reception: May 15, 6 – 8 pm
Duration: 15 May – 6 June
Al Baraka Ballroom, Kuwait
A Night of Dreams
One Day Event: May 16th
Reda Abd Elrahman’s Home Gallery, Cairo
One Day Event: 17th May 2014, 1.30pm – 4.00pm
Roskilde University, Denmark
Exhibition by Syrian artist Mazen al-Feel Opening May 20th, 2014
Gallery Ward, Dubai
Selections from the Contemporary Egyptian Art Scene Vol 2 Opening May 20th
FA Gallery, Kuwait
Exhibition by Ayyad Al.Nimer
Contemporary Uprising: Art from the Middle East
Occasion: Ayyam Gallery is pleased to present Contemporary Uprising: Art from the Middle East, a collective exhibition of ten renowned artists from Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia at Nest Gallery in Geneva, Switzerland.
Curated by the founders of Ayyam Gallery, Khaled and Hisham Samawi, in collaboration with Stefania Nazzal, the works have been carefully chosen with the aim of introducing the Middle East’s vivid contemporary art scene to Switzerland. Politically-inspired and figural works abound in this generous, well-rounded selection, providing a detailed overview of the depth and breadth of subject matter, talent and techniques in the new wave of Contemporary Arab art presently produced throughout the Middle East and the Diaspora.
Opening Reception: Wednesday, 21 May from 6-8PM
Duration: 21-25 May, 2014
Location: Nest Gallery, Geneva
Cuadro Art Gallery
The Road to Dialoro by Gary Komarin Opening May 21
Occasion: Cuadro Gallery opens a solo exhibition, The Road to Dialoro, unveiling a new body of works by American artist and winner of the Joan Mitchell Prize in painting, Gary Komarin.
Komarin shuns the traditional canvas applying a quick-drying concoction of thinned-out latex house paints to industrial canvas tarps and drop cloths. The quick drying materials are applied urgently, but in carefully chosen colors and meditated compositions. The resulting work mirrors a suspended tension between the spontaneous and deliberate.
Komarin began a four-decade career under the mentorship of neo-expressionism leader, Phillip Guston. Guston, a contemporary of Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock,
Opening Reception: May 21st, 2014 from 6 – 8 PM
Duration May 21st 2014 to June 19th 2014
Location: Cuadro Art Gallery, Dubai
FESTIVAL ART IN GEORGIA
Opening May 26, 2014
Occasion: Group exhibition of artists in Mtshketa House, Georgia featuring: Cindy Mersky from Canada, Natalya Zaloznaya from Belarus, Viktoriya Krupskaya from Belarus, Nataliya Syuzeva from Russia, Fawaz Arnaout from Syria and Nawar Haidar from Syria.
Duration: May 26 – June 2, 2014.
Location: FESTIVAL ART IN GEORGIA
The Brick Lane Gallery
Art in Mind
Occasion: This exciting new exhibition offers an insight into best and brightest of modern art, with abstract forms, remembered figures, urban landscapes and colour explosions in an eclectic showcase of contemporary talent. ART IN MIND displays a broad collection of work in various media from acrylic and oil paintings, through to etchings and textiles pieces, stretching the imagination and encompassing most of the predominant themes in art today. We are proud to present a group of artists bringing creativity together from across the four corners of the globe… from Australia to Japan, Syria, Greece, Spain and Swtizerland back to London and Leicestershire.
Featuring: BALI SANGHA-JENKINS | DIMITRA VIVELI | MARIA APARICI | MITSUSHIGE NISHIWAKI | NAWAR HAIDAR | PATRICIA BONET | PAUL VYSE | RITA MANCESTI | ROSIE KAVANAVOCH.
Duration: 29th May – 8th June 2014
Location: The Brick Lane Gallery, London.