Alserkal Art Week returns from 3-13 March 2022 in a celebration of contemporary art focused in Alserkal Avenue cultural district. The exhibitions on show in the galleries in Alserkal Avenue include artists working across a wide range of mediums and with diverse materials: from digital work such as NFTs, film and photography, to sculpture and large-scale artworks. Highlights include: the first West Asian major solo exhibition of Jitish Kallat at Ishara Art Foundation; a large-scale exhibition by Wim Delvoye in Leila Heller Gallery; and, a multidisciplinary show with filmmakers and artists Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige in The Third Line.
March 8 – April 30
A group exhibition featuring works by Benitha Perciyal, Chittrovanu Mazumdar, G R Iranna, Rina Banerjee, Sonia Khurana, Sudarshan Shetty, Tallur L N and Vivek Vilasini
Safwan Dahoul | Awake
March 8 – May 15
Safwan Dahoul’s Dream series has explored the physical and psychological effects of alienation and solitude for over three decades. The artist embraces his dreams in all their beauty, chaos, and nuances. Some are disconcerting nightmares of unsettled beings, while others are dreams of a perpetual longing for Safwan’s homeland. Dahoul talks about the gnawing pain of being in diaspora, so close yet so far, estranged. Partly autobiographical, this seminal body of work encloses feelings and emotions within each canvas while emanating through space nonetheless. Taking his previous body Awakening further, Dahoul’s protagonist’s features haunt us with their presence, looking straight into the void, and swallowing us through the darkness.
Michael Sailstorfer | Heavy Eyes
March 8 – May 5
Titled Heavy Eyes, Michael Sailstorfer’s new works for this exhibition are integrated within contexts of materiality and allegory. Michael Sailstorfer’s artistic practice is intimately involved with the innate, transformative properties of material. His interdisciplinary experimentations emphasise chemical interactions which discern their metaphorical interpretations, and are directed towards an outcome that is in many ways orchestrated and unforeseeable. Sailstorfer’s diverse, sculptural investigations revolve around the dismantling and deconstructing of everyday objects, and situating them in different circumstances. His works are situated within a configured hermeneutics, and highlights a shift – or a readjusting of significance.
Fabienne Verdier | Voyage d’hiver
March 8 – May 28
Voyage d’hiver, a remarkable series of paintings by the celebrated contemporary abstract painter, Fabienne Verdier. Fabienne Verdier imagined this series of 8 paintings in 2016 while thinking of ‘Die Winterreise’ (Voyage d’hiver) by classical Austrian composer Franz Schubert. This ensemble of 24 lieder written for piano and voice in 1827, one year before the death of Schubert, bring to the artist, in each listen, immense vibrations.
For the very first time, Fabienne Verdier has superposed, on canvas, strokes of energy upon each other resulting in a fading notion of scale. Every movement or countermovement of the material can slowly evoke the magnificent sensation that perceives the hiker when he does not know anymore, in his wanders, if he is the one moving or if the scenery is shifting ahead of him.
Nja Mahdaoui | JAFR. The Alchemy of Signs
March 8 – May 7
JAFR. The Alchemy of Signs is the gallery’s third solo exhibition with Tunisian artist Nja Mahdaoui. Featuring a new body of work that reveals the full breadth, imagination and scale of his oeuvre, this exhibition unveils his most recent paintings produced between 2019 and 2021. This exhibition marks 15 years of collaboration between Nja Mahdaoui and Elmarsa Gallery, both in Tunis and Dubai, presenting his third solo show, after Trance in Dubai (2016) and Awj – a retrospective exhibition of his works from 1966 to 2018 – in Tunis (2018).
February 4 – April 15
Breaking Boundaries brings together antipodal linguistic and cultural aspects of communication through the works of British artist, Josh Rowell and Saudi Arabian artist, Nasser Al Salem.
Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde
Vikram Divecha | El Dorado
March 8 – May 1
El Dorado, Vikram Divecha’s third solo exhibition showcasing a series of oil paintings and works on paper. In December 2017, Divecha chanced upon a projectionist’s block calendar diary among the refuse of the recently decommissioned El Dorado Cinema in Abu Dhabi. First opened in the 1990s on the capital’s Electra Street, the El Dorado in its later years catered to South Asian audiences. From the banal events noted in the diary, Divecha conjured a profound reflection on alienation, exclusion, and remembrance, blurring fact and fiction, for the genesis of an invisible projectionist, named simply ‘K.’
K’s diaristic documentation is scanned, printed, and mounted on wood panels evoking the thickness of the block calendar. The entries ‘as usual,’ ‘bulb changed today,’ ‘picture stuck, error come’ acknowledge in writing the isolation and boredom that gripped K’s spirit. Also included are a series of excerpts from a fictionalised screenplay. Assembled from informal conversations with El Dorado employees, a portraiture of absence is evoked. This absence is further confounded by The League Times Daily 1982 January 12 (excerpt) (2022). Recalling the 1982 anti-government strike in India, the work, a scanned and printed article suggests a politically active strand to the projectionist past.
Green Art Gallery
Nazgol Ansarinia | Lakes Drying, Tides Rising
March 8 – May 7
In this new body of work, which ranges across sculpture, video and drawing, Ansarinia takes Iran’s recent water crisis and the resulting urban landscape as a starting point to think about collective desires of a particular time.
Informed by her interdisciplinary background in art and design, her projects range in approach and material to offer a perspective that considers the aesthetic and theoretical implications of vernacular architectural practices within the built environment. Ansarinia’s works are largely observational and technical in their scope, offering insight into the issues that are most pressing and urgent for today’s cities and the populations that inhabit them.
Shreyas Karle | Shifting the Center Table
January 15 – March 31
Shifting the center table exhibits the unmethodical, unmeditated gathering of objects & trivial ideas imagined and produced on multiple timelines- all realised under the pretext of a show. It does not take into account the studio paradigm but rather is a churning out of all unnecessary particulars which constitutes towards the functionality of certain domesticity. Does it matter anymore if the center table is shifted towards the wall? Does the center table lose its value if shifted towards the wall? does the wall gain value if it harbors the table? The exhibition summarises these marginal & valuable inquiries through pedestalised and non-pedestalised displays that co-exists with the vertical curtains, horizontal table cloths and folded bedsheets.
Gulf Photo Plus
Swallow This! Arab Women and Body Politics
March 8 – April 15
Swallow This! Arab Women and Body Politics, featuring the work of photographers Lara Chahine and Reem Falaknaz. The exhibition features over 40 works including photography, digital media and video installation.
Ishara Art Foundation
Jitish Kallat | Order of Magnitude
February 16 – July 1
Order of Magnitude is the first major solo exhibition of Jitish Kallat in West Asia and the Levant. Featuring new works that include paintings, multimedia installations, drawings and site-specific interventions, the show reflects the artist’s profound deliberations on the interrelationship between the cosmic and the terrestrial.
Hamra Abbas | Colour | Garden
March 8 – May 7
A solo by Hamra Abbas presenting a set of conceptual prints alongside new marble inlay works that extend her investigation of colour theory, geometry and the garden motif in architecture.
Leila Heller Gallery
Solo exhibitions by Reza Derakshani, Wim Delvoye, Naeemeh Kazemi
March 7 – September 15
The Third Line
Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige | Messages with(out) a code
March 8 – April 9
Messages with(out) a code presents a selection of new and seminal pieces from their ongoing project Unconformities, which began in 2016 when the artists started collecting a series of earth core samples that revealed the subterranean worlds of cities omnipresent in their personal imaginaries: Athens, Paris, Beirut and Tripoli.
March 8 – May 14
In Entangled Existence, six artists come together to express how their existence is entangled with land and nature. Bashir Qonqar, Nabil Anani, Bashar Alhroub, Ruba Salameh, Yazan Abu Salameh, and Dia Mrad, voyage through their relationship with nature and surroundings using a variety of mediums.
Mohammad AlFaraj | Limbs of the Past, an Offering for the Future
March 8 – 13
AlFaraj’s site specific installation, Limbs of the Past, an Offering For the Future, derives sanctity and spiritual significance through the use/reuse of natural and non-natural materials, and integrating them with drawings, words and shapes, as all of these elements carry within them the history and memory of those who touched, used and believed in them.
Info is extracted from the press releases of the galleries