Selection being something we specialise in here at Selections, we like to ask those who are best-placed to make choices on our behalf. In this special feature, we ask gallerists at the Art Dubai 2018 to choose a single artwork from their booths and share the story behind it.
ART DUBAI MODERN
Piraji Sagara was never bound to one medium or a style. His works from the fifties/sixties explore materiality while his collages, particularly Snake, reveal his search to reveal his roots. The use ofbeadwork, once an ornamental embellishment discarded as junk, was used by Piraji to give texture and glittering interest to the snake. The original beadwork design included decorative patterns and images of the tree of life, animals and birds; in its rebirth, the artist used the designs to enhance the markings of a reptile. There is a decided transformation of its original materiality and intent in its re-use. This magnificent minimalist work is endowed with a sense of never-ending movement. As the snake slithers toward the viewer, one ponders with an inward gaze the question of the very nature of existence.
Anwar Jalal Shemza’s work ‘Triptych in B and D’ was painted in 1979 and given to the previous owners by the artist as a wedding gift. There is a lovely inscription on the back of the work, a quote from the French author Albert Camus; ‘Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me and just be me friend.’It’s a beautiful sentiment. Sometimes it͛s the little extra details such as this that make a good painting a great one.
Karim Francis Gallery
Contemporary Art Group
“These young painters offer an in-depth image of the people they know and love: bitter, wild and marked with a melancholic poetry. They are the precursors, the founders of a Cairo School.”
Éric de Nemes
Cruzeiro Seixas (b. 1920) is a major figure in Portuguese Surrealist Movement, with a depth connection with Africa. In the early 50’s, he traveled across the African continent and settled in Angola in 1952. During the time (12 years) spent there, Cruzeiro Seixas established contact with the native cultures and with the art produced in the different ethnic groups, that influenced him. This tapestry from 1953 presented in Art Dubai Modern is one of the designed, painted, objectified and written works he performed in that country and reveals the artist’s new plastic dimension, evident in material and technical experimentation. This artwork, as well as the others produced during this period, demonstrates the confrontation between the African and the European universe, which was sustained by the creative freedom, exempt from Western civilizational conceptualisms. Furthermore, influenced by African identity matrix, Cruzeiro Seixas played a very important role in the development of contemporary arts in Angola, organizing exhibitions in an absolutely unprecedented way in the country.
Ubuntu Art Gallery
This is one of our favourite pieces by the late Egyptian Surrealist Samir Rafi that we will be exhibiting at our booth in ART Dubai. It portrays two iconic subjects of the artist – the woman and the fish which have both frequented his canvas throughout his artistic careers, but also for its complex simplicity. It is very representational of Rafi’s work in general but especially of pieces created during the 50s.