Yoriyas (Maroc), Street Prayer- Série Casablanca, not the movie, 2018, pigment print, 40 x 60 cm, edition of 7, Courtesy of Yoriyas and the 193 Gallery

MENART FAIR is the first international modern and contemporary art fair, dedicated to artists from the Middle East & North Africa, presented by major galleries. For this first edition, some twenty international galleries are gathered for four days in the private mansion of the Cornette de Saint Cyr auction house, in Paris 8th district. This new art fair with a confidential format offers an initiatory journey through a demanding selection of more than sixty modern and contemporary artists, most of whom are recognised in their respective countries.

The Southern and Eastern Mediterranean, the Levant and the Middle East are represented here by MENART FAIR, with artists from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

Through the selection of participating galleries, MENART FAIR highlights the fertility, uniqueness and originality of the artistic scenes of MENA, today supported by a number of renowned museums and institutions.

GALERIE NATHALIE OBADIA

Youssef Nabil, Say Goodbye, Self-portrait Alexandrie, 2009, 2009, Gelatin silver print coloured by hand, series of 5, each unique, 74.4 x 100.5 cm, Edition 5/5, Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Nathalie Obadia Paris / Brussels, © Youssef Nabil
Youssef Nabil, Say Goodbye, Self-portrait Alexandrie, 2009, 2009, Gelatin silver print coloured by hand, series of 5, each unique, 74.4 x 100.5 cm, Edition 5/5, Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Nathalie Obadia Paris / Brussels, © Youssef Nabil

Youssef Nabil shoots intricately arranged black-and-white photographs, primarily portraits, which he then meticulously hand-colours in a rich and varied palette, employing a technique based on the colour-tinting of old Egyptian portrait studios. “The technique I got from Egypt, but the colours I got from personal experience,” he has said.

WADI FINAN ART GALLERY

Saoud Abdallah, Heels , 2020. Natural sand glued on canvas, 80 x 80 cm
Saoud Abdallah, Heels , 2020. Natural sand glued on canvas, 80 x 80 cm

“In my work, I try to modulate shapes by using a curved line, which gives me the opportunity to develop the idea of form. Iuse natural sand in its own natural colour, which I got from several regions of syria in order to enrich the simplicity of shapes in my painting.” ~ Saoud Abdallah

193 GALLERY

Alia Ali, Rain from the Indigo Series, 2021, Pigment print with UV laminate, 84 x 84 cm, Courtesy of Alia Ali and the 193 Gallery
Alia Ali, Rain from the Indigo Series, 2021, Pigment print with UV laminate, 84 x 84 cm, Courtesy of Alia Ali and the 193 Gallery

Having traveled to sixty-seven countries, lived in and between seven, and grown up among five languages, Alia Ali’s most comfortable mode of communication is through photography, video and installation. Her travels have led her to process the world through interactive experiences and the belief that the damage of translation and interpretation of written language has dis-served particular communities, resulting in the threat of their exclusion, rather than a means of understanding. Alia’s work reflects on the politics of contested notions of linguistics, identity, borders, universality, colonisation, mental/physical confinement, and the inherent dualism that exists in each of them.

GALLERIA CONTINUA

Leila Alaoui, Les Marocains, 2010, impression Lambda montée sur Dibond, 150 x 100 cm
Leila Alaoui, Les Marocains, 2010, impression Lambda montée sur Dibond, 150 x 100 cm

Leila Alaoui’s work explores the building of identity, cultural diversity and migration in the Mediterranean area. She used photography and video to express various social realities through a visual language lying on the boundary between the documentary and the plastic arts.

GALERIE BESSIERES

Serge Najjar, Blue Escape, 2013. Photographic paper mounted on aluminum, 50x50cm. Courtesy of galerie Bessières
Serge Najjar, Blue Escape, 2013. Photographic paper mounted on aluminum, 50x50cm. Courtesy of galerie Bessières

Serge Najjar proceeds like a goldsmith of cities as he shows their manifold geometric potential. He casts his photographer’s eye on our interaction with materials and their correlation with the history of modern art and geometric abstraction. His images are in dialogue with abstraction, testifying to a notable influence of the Russian avant-garde and particularly Malevitch. His approach may be instinctive, but his views allow us to reconsider our contemporary surroundings on a human scale. People’s presence makes utopian, at times overwhelming architectural structures appear more human. Najjar’s work thus examines the interrelationship between painting and photography.

LEILA HELLER GALLERY

Soraya Sharghi, Anomoly, 2017. Acrylic on canvas, 140 x 157 cm
Soraya Sharghi, Anomoly, 2017. Acrylic on canvas, 140 x 157 cm

In her large-format paintings, Sharghi depicts a mythology of the 21st century. Young women are staged in the role of a new type of heroine, drawing from the visual worlds of ancient Europe and oriental tales. The traditional, male iconography, experiences its re-figuration through the female body. These new heroines make it possible to reflect on archaic-utopian matriarchy in a contemporary context. Sharghi precisely traces the theme of this socio-political statement of emancipation through a rewriting of history: Old heroes are replaced here by new subjects.

GALERIE TANIT

Nabil Nahas, Fractal Blue, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 150 x 150 cm
Nabil Nahas, Fractal Blue, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 150 x 150 cm

Drawing inspiration from the decorative patterns of Islamic art and the American abstract painting of the mid 20th century, painter and mixed-media artist Nabil Nahas makes innovative use of organic materials, including seashells and starfish, which he casts in acrylic paint and mounts on a support (typically canvas). His works have an all-over composition suggestive of biological growth and the patterning of nature.

GALERIE LA LA LANDE

Slimen El Kamel, Arc en ciel, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 125 x 200 cm, Courtesy Galerie La La Lande, © Firas Ben Khlifa
Slimen El Kamel, Arc en ciel, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 125 x 200 cm, Courtesy Galerie La La Lande, © Firas Ben Khlifa

The rural surroundings of Slimen El Kamel’s youth proved formative to his practice, and it was in Sidi Bouzid, amongst the long-standing traditions of folk tales and poetry that his preoccupation with lived and virtual reality was sown. More recent works explore the social and communicative parameters of our ‘reality complex’. Elkamel considers the ways in which these multiple ‘realities’ hinge upon visual and auditory channels of communication.

STUDIO NADA DEBS

Nada Debs, Pebble table, plateaux en bois laqué bleu et base en laiton, 270 x 45,5 x 52 cm
Nada Debs, Pebble table, plateaux en bois laqué bleu et base en laiton, 270 x 45,5 x 52 cm

An iconic Nada Debs piece, the seven-top pebble table was created as a flexible low table that adapts to different seating scenarios and offers varied levels for display. Resting on a mobile solid brass base, the pebble shaped tops are lacquered in different shades of blue reminiscent of the sea.

AYN GALLERY

Delel Tangour, Hya (triptyque), B/W silver prints on Hahnemuhle ultra smooth fine art paper, 24 x 30 cm, Editions1/3
Delel Tangour, Hya (triptyque), B/W silver prints on Hahnemuhle ultra smooth fine art paper, 24 x 30 cm, Editions1/3

Dalel Tangour is one of the first women photographers in Tunisia. Observer of the world, attentive to the Other, her lens captures the outside world where the artist stands back to better reveal the photographed motif. Her photographs, in colour and black and white, which she works in series, show a bold framing, a delicate rendering, the capture of moments suspended in an indefinite time. This artistic approach allows the viewer great freedom of interpretation as he or she dives into the image at will.

ESTHER WOERDEHOFF

Chervine, New York, 2021, photographs with pigment prints, 60 x 80 cm
Chervine, New York, 2021, photographs with pigment prints, 60 x 80 cm

Chervine’s interest lies in urban scenes and landscapes, his images are taken in available light, with no staging involved.

MARK HACHEM GALLERY

 Hussein Madi, Untitled, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 65 x 75 cm

Hussein Madi, Untitled, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 65 x 75 cm

Hussein Madi’s contemporary artwork denotes an extremely profound understanding of the artistic and spiritual oriental tradition.

MONO GALLERY

Reem Al Faisal, Only the Lonely I, Analogue Print, 60 x 50 cm
Reem Al Faisal, Only the Lonely I, Analogue Print, 60 x 50 cm

Reem Al Fayçal’s black and white photographs capture a look, a gesture taken on the spot. It seems that the characters challenged by our gaze turn around to look at us in turn.

GALERIE CHERIFF TABET

David Daoud, Nocturne, oil on canvas, 40 x 30 cm
David Daoud, Nocturne, oil on canvas, 40 x 30 cm

David Daoud treats through his painting, the journey, the distance, the absence and the ephemeral in the eternity.

ELMARSA GALLERY

Baya Mahieddine (Algeria), Les musicians, 1988, gouache and watercolor on paper, 73 x 98 cm
Baya Mahieddine (Algeria), Les musicians, 1988, gouache and watercolor on paper, 73 x 98 cm

Baya Mahieddine’s colourful work is celebrated for its folkloric depiction of women, birds, butterflies, musical instruments, and tales of childhood. Her works depict exuberant scenes of women or nature and don’t include men but focuse on expressing women’s individuality.

SALEH BARAKAT GALLERY

Ayman Baalbaki, Les Silos de Beyrouth, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 140 x 180 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Saleh Barakat Gallery
Ayman Baalbaki, Les Silos de Beyrouth, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 140 x 180 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Saleh Barakat Gallery

MENART FAIR is on view until the 30th of May

The information is extracted from the press releases of the galleries.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

selections-arts-logo

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.

RANDOM READS
Nicolás Franco, MHN 1819, 2017. Pigment ink, modified acrylic resins and acrylic paint on linen, 260 x 390 cm. Galeria Isabel Aninat

EXTREMISMOS. THE LIMITS OF THE CHILEAN LANDSCAPE

The Chilean landscape is unique in the world. For its…

Yvonne Michiels, NY by night, 2019. Photography on dibond with plexiglass editing, 100 x 100 cm

ART MADRID 2021

The 16th edition of Art Madrid hosts 32 national and…

MUSEUM ACQUISITIONS – CURATOR AIGERIM KAPAR

SELECTIONS delves into the world of acquisitions, exploring what museums…

Beyond Van Gogh, Preview Image

VAN GOGH COMES BACK TO LIFE

The “Beyond Van Gogh” exhibit is something of a wonder.…

Dia al-Azzawi, Watching Over Others [يراقب الآخرين], 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 230 x 180 cm

DIA AL-AZZAWI | MEEM GALLERY

Meem Gallery presents The Lebanon Works, a solo exhibition of…

Nicky Nodjoumi (b. 1942), The Accident. Ink on paper, 2013. Funded by Maryam and Edward Eisler.

DR VENETIA PORTER ON MUSEUM ACQUISITIONS

Dr Venetia Porter Curator of Islamic and Contemporary Middle East…

june 2021

17febAll Day12junABSTRACTION AND CALLIGRAPHY – TOWARDS A UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE

09marAll Day09octPLASTIC, THE LAST HERO OF THE GREAT STEPPE - THE ART OF SAULE SULEIMENOVA

23marAll Day26junDIA AL-AZZAWI | THE LEBANON WORKS