This will be the first time that such an extensive exhibition of Arab art will have been on view in London via a unique partnership with the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth and the Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE. The exhibition is curated by Dr Ridha Moumni, Deputy Chairman, Christie’s Middle East and North Africa.
Kawkaba: Highlights from the Barjeel Art Foundation. Kawkaba, ‘constellations’ in Arabic, is a loan exhibition of 100 masterpieces from the Barjeel Art Foundation which was created in 2010 by Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi. This exhibition, assembled from works across the region, pays homage to the rich artistic diversity of the Arab world, resonating with a myriad of artistic voices from the Middle East and North Africa. ‘Kawkaba’, a gender-balanced exhibition, magnifies the vibrant tapestry of Modern Arab art, shedding light on both regionally celebrated and underrepresented artists. This exhibition is a window into the soul of the Arab world, revealing an exploration of the region’s richness while paying tribute to its unwavering resilience and boundless creativity. ‘Kawkaba’ invites visitors to marvel at the unique collection of the Barjeel Art Foundation and partake in a transformative artistic and cultural journey into the Arab World.
Emirati Art Reimagined: Hassan Sharif and the Contemporary Voices is a selling and loan exhibitionincluding works by pioneering Emirati artist Hassan Sharif,representing his multi-disciplinary body of work. Sharif is widely regarded as a central figure in contemporary and conceptual art in the region. The collection showcases the breadth and depth of his practice with paintings, works on paper, sculpture, installations and textile based works from the 1980’s to 2015, a year before the artist passed away. Sharif lived most of his life in Dubai moving between roles as an artist, an educator and a mentor to many contemporary artists in the UAE and also inspired many of the established and emerging talent that are prevalent across the Gulf today where his enduring influence on the Emirati art scene continues to be seen. Pieces by Hassan Sharif will be presented alongside works by contemporary Emirati artists representative of youth and female practitioners, in collaboration withthe UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth. The Ministry of Culture and Youth is committed to supporting, nurturing and promoting the presence of Emirati arts globally and their collection includes works by Hussain Sharif, Mohammed Kazem, Farah Al Qasimi, Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim, and others.
Dr Ridha Moumni, Deputy Chairman, Christie’s Middle East and North Africa and Curator of the exhibition comments, ‘Modern and Contemporary Art of the region is a unique opportunity to bring together masterpieces by leading artists of the Arab World. The exhibition not only celebrates high-profile artists such as Hassan Sharif but shines a light on the unparalleled creativity, diversity, and rich histories of North African and West Asian cultures. Christie’s is honoured to partner with two prestigious cultural institutions, the Barjeel Art Foundation and The Ministry of Culture and Youth, United Arab Emirates, for what will be an exceptional moment for the arts and culture of the Arab World in London this summer’.
Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, Founder, Barjeel Art Foundation comments, ‘The exhibition is a rare opportunity to view in person a selection of artworks from some of the most prominent artists from West Asia and North Africa that have been collected over 20 years. The vast majority of the artworks in the exhibition have never been seen in the U.K. before. The works include a gender balanced selection which allows for visitors to appreciate the role that modern women artists played in the establishment of a flourishing Modern art movement in the region. Barjeel Art Foundation is especially proud to be collaborating with Christie’s on this unique exhibition from whom many of these works have been collected over the years’.
Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World opens on 20 July and will run until the end of the day on 23 August. Entry to the exhibition is free.
About The Barjeel Art Foundation
The Barjeel Foundation, a non-profit arts organisation based in Sharjah, U.A.E was established in 2010 by Emirati commentator, and esteemed private art collector Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi to manage and exhibit his personal art collection. To date there are over 1,000 pieces of modern and contemporary art in the foundation’s collection. The Barjeel Foundation loans works to high profile galleries and institutions around the world to support raising awareness of Arab art and Arab culture. This unique collection seeks to promote both established Arab artists as well as supporting emerging talent, forgotten artists, and includes a keen focus on female artists from the Arab world.
For more information, please visit https://www.instagram.com/barjeelart/
About The Ministry of Culture and Youth
The Ministry of Culture and Youth works to enrich the cultural ecosystem of the UAE by supporting the country’s cultural, art and heritage institutions. It provides a platform for artists and innovators, promotes cross-cultural dialogue, and delivers dynamic productions and experiences that represent the UAE’s rich and eclectic culture on national as well as international level. The Ministry’s key mandates include investing in youth and empowering them and building a knowledge-based economy for a sustainable future. The Ministry is also entrusted with regulating the media sector in the UAE by formulating and implementing legislation, regulations, and standards for licensing media and media activities.
For more information, please visit https://www.instagram.com/uaemcy/
About Dr Ridha Moumni
Dr. Ridha Moumni is an Art and Archaeology historian with an academic and professional specialisation in Antiquity and the early and modern art. He earned his Ph.D. in North African Roman Architecture at La Sorbonne University before joining the Villa Medici as a fellow of the French Academy. He returned to Tunis in 2014, where he worked as an independent research-based curator and organised exhibitions of photography and early modern art, among them L’Eveil d’une Nation in 2016 (The Awakening of a Nation: Art at the Dawn of Modern Tunisia), where he displayed the first Abolition of Slavery and the first Constitution of the Arab World. Prior to joining Christie’s, Ridha was an Aga Khan Fellow at the Department of Art History of Harvard University. Ridha also co-authored Artistes de Tunisie (Cérès Editions, 2019) with Elsa Despiney, a book on Tunisian visual artists from the 19th century to the Revolution.
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