‘Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World’ at Christie’s London

Christie’s presents the most extensive exhibition of Arab Art in London, hosted at Christie’s Headquarters this summer. Titled “Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World,” the exhibition comprises two distinct sections: “Kawkaba: Highlights from the Barjeel Art Foundation” and “Emirati Art Reimagined: Hassan Sharif and the Contemporary Voices.” This exhibition curated by Dr Ridha Moumni, Deputy Chairman of Christie’s Middle East and North Africa, celebrates the creativity, diversity, and history of Arab Art.

Inji Efflatoun. Egypt, 1924–1989. Dreams of the Detainee, 1961. (Kawkaba: Highlights from the Barjeel Art Foundation)

“Kawkaba” features 100 masterpieces from the Barjeel Art Foundation, assembled in 2010 by Sultan Soud Al Qassemi. This gender-balanced exhibition magnifies the vibrant tapestry of Modern Arab art, representing a multitude of artistic voices from the Middle East and North Africa. It offers visitors a captivating insight into the soul of the Arab world, acknowledging its rich artistic diversity and unwavering resilience. “Kawkaba” invites viewers on a transformative artistic and cultural journey into the heart of the Arab World.

Hassan Sharif (Emirati 1951 – 2016). Cloth 2. (Emirati Art Reimagined: Hassan Sharif and the Contemporary Voices)

“Emirati Art Reimagined” is both a selling and loan exhibition that showcases works by pioneering Emirati artist Hassan Sharif, a central figure in the region’s contemporary and conceptual art scene. The collection encompasses a wide array of his multi-disciplinary works, spanning paintings, sculptures, installations, and textile-based pieces from the 1980s to 2015, a year before his passing. Sharif’s enduring influence on the Emirati art scene is evident in his role as an artist, educator, and mentor to numerous contemporary artists in the UAE. The exhibition also includes works by contemporary Emirati artists, reflecting the talent and innovation of young and female practitioners, supported by the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth.

This pioneering exhibition held in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth and the Barjeel Art Foundation features over 150 artworks from 1939 to 2023, showcasing the evolution of Arab art over 80 years.

Farah Al Qassimi, (b. 1981). Abu Dhabi, Curtain Shop. (Emirati Art Reimagined: Hassan Sharif and the Contemporary Voices)

About Christie’s

Christie’s, established in 1766, is a leading art and luxury business offering expert live and online auctions, private sales, art appraisal, financing, international real estate, and education. With a presence in 46 countries, Christie’s flagship sales hubs are in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris, and Geneva, and it is the only auction house authorised to operate in mainland China. Their auctions cover 80+ categories from $200 to over $100 million, with record-breaking sales, including Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi and Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn. Christie’s embraces digital innovation, pioneering NFT art auctions and new technologies. Committed to sustainability and positive change, they support under-represented voices in the art world.


Location: Christie’s Headquarters in St. James’s, London

Date: 20 July – 23 August 2023



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