Event Details

The MAMC+ Saint-Étienne Métropole hosts the traveling retrospective exhibition of Hassan Sharif (1951-2016), bringing together in an exceptional way more than 150 of the Emirati artist’s works, rarely exhibited in France.

Hassan Sharif was born in Iran, studied in London, and lived in Dubaï, where he became a pioneer of Conceptual Art in the Middle East. As an artist, educator, and critic, he helped transform the artistic landscape of his country, leading it far beyond the realm of traditional calligraphy, and he remains one of the most influential artists in the Arab world.

Over a period of four decades, Hassan Sharif developed a significant body of work consisting of drawings, paintings, performances, sculptures, and installations. In contrast to this abundant production, the title of the exhibition (I am the single work artist) instead seems to suggest that this work should be seen as a single gesture that was repeated over time.

Hassan Sharif’s practice evolved in a social and economic context that was radically transformed by the discovery of oil in 1958, followed by the creation of the United Arab Emirates in 1971. His work is marked by the rapid transformation of a small land like Dubaï into a megalopolis of luxury. He criticised the forced march of modernisation through the caricatures he published until 1979, at which point he devoted himself entirely to his own artistic practice. His training in London exposed him to British constructivism, Minimal Art, and Fluxus, whose influences he adeptly channelled in his own oeuvre. His performances in the Hatta desert in the early 1980s represent some of the first manifestations of Conceptual Art in the Gulf, as he jumped, threw a stone, filmed rock formations, or disappeared over a dune. He used photographs, collages, and writings to document his actions in his own courtyard, in a taxi, or at a souk.

Through the subversive pop-up exhibitions that he organised with the collective Mureijah Art Atelier, he called viewers’ attentions to the everyday materials and objects he found in increasing amounts in local markets. A process of accumulating, cutting, weaving, and assembling led Sharif to develop a major current in his work, which he termed “urban archaeology”. Starting in the 2000s, as his installations became monumental in scale, he returned to painting, often incorporating these same everyday objects into his canvases. Their grotesque style and expressionist touch depict — with a sense of realism — the more shoddy and coarse aspects of consumer society.

At the same time that Hassan Sharif was completing these installations, he developed a more ascetic and graphic series of works that also made use of repetition: the “Semi-Systems”. He made mathematical calculations and established rules to generate geometric drawings that consisted of a quasi-infinite number of columns and segments of straight lines. He allowed fatigue and boredom to enter the equation and thereby introduce mistakes, which he left visible. Like much of Sharif’s work, the Semi-Systems depict a confrontation of authority, as well as the means of getting around it.

Hassan Sharif’s work is echoed in a number of Western artistic approaches from the late 1970s and 1980s. In continuation of the exhibition, two rooms have been devoted to the MAMC+’s own collections, featuring Minimal Art, Fluxus and Supports/Surfaces in particular.

This exhibition is originally organised by Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, U.A.E., and curated by Hoor Al Qasimi. The European tour of the exhibition has been organised by Sharjah Art Foundation in collaboration with KW Berlin, Malmö Konsthall and the Musée d’art moderne et contemporain de Saint-Étienne Métropole.



March 5 (Friday) - September 26 (Sunday)


Musée d’art moderne et contemporain de Saint-Étienne Métropole

rue Fernand Léger - 42270 Saint-Priest-en-Jarez




SELECTIONS is a platform for the arts, focusing on the Arab World.

Selections editorial presents a quarterly print magazine and weekly online publication with high quality content on all subjects related to Art and Culture. Full of world-leading artworks, exquisite brand imagery, original creative illustrations and insightful written articles.
Selections Viewing Rooms presents carefully curated online art shows aiming not only to shed light on contemporary art executed by living artists, but also for viewers to buy contemporary fine art, prints & multiples, photography, street art and collectibles.
Discover the previous and current shows here.
Cultural Narratives foundation is an extensive collection that is travelling the world by leading established and emerging talents aiming to reflect the culture of the region in their works.

Gallery 2 - A Global History of Sport (2)


The 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum is Qatar’s museum of sports history, offering an unforgettable and inspiring interactive journey through the history and legacy of sports and the Olympic Games. The 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum was officially…

Art in the Desert by Olafur Eliasson, Simone Fattal and Ernesto Neto by Qatar Museums.

Qatar museums unveiled site-specific public artworks by Olafur Eliasson, Simone Fattal and Ernesto Neto near Nation’s Northern Heritage Sites. Newly commissioned artworks are presented as part of one of the world’s most ambitious public art programmes comprised of more than…


  WOMEN ARTISTS IN THE MENA: THE ART SCENE FOR WOMEN IS THRIVING DESPITE MANY OBSTACLES   Women make up 42% of the artists showing at the Menart Fair in Brussels. A simple fact, not so much a proclamation as…

Art Dubai 2022, Photos courtesy of Electra Official Contractor of Art Dubai

Art Dubai unveils inclusive and extensive 2023 programme

Art Dubai unveils inclusive and extensive 2023 programme, reinforcing Dubai’s status as a significant contributor to global conversations about art Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the…

Qatar Museums install new public art across the city

As part of its plans to transform the nation’s landscape into a vast outdoor art museum experience, Qatar Museums, in collaboration with the Supervisory Committee of Beautification of Roads and Public Places in Qatar (Ashghal), has recently installed several public…

NYU ABU DHABI Art Gallery unveils 2023 programme

  The NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery Announces 2023 Spring and Fall Exhibitions that Confront Contemporary Landscape Curated by The NYUAD Art Gallery Executive Director and University Chief Curator, Maya Allison, the shows examine the different ways we think about…

february 2023


12jan(jan 12)10:0015apr(apr 15)06:00Samia Halaby and Farid Haddad

15jan(jan 15)06:0020feb(feb 20)06:00My Favourite Things 7