Talib Almarri, installation view. Al-Mansouria Collection مجموعة المنصورية
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Inspired by Mohammed Abdu’s popular song Al Amakin with the lyrics “all the places long for you”, 21,39’s Amakin opens for the first time at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) after a successful exhibition in Jeddah.

The exhibition is curated by Venetia Porter, art historian and one of the world’s leading curators in Islamic and contemporary Middle Eastern art, and includes 28 regional and international artists, delving into what the notion of “makan” means to them, demonstrating how their life experiences have shaped their relationship to different places, real and imagined.

Abdulhalim Radwi, Wall and case 2, installation view. Al-Mansouria Collection مجموعة المنصورية
Abdulhalim Radwi, Wall and case 2, installation view. Al-Mansouria Collection مجموعة المنصورية

Porter weaves a captivating narrative from across Saudi Arabia and beyond, highlighting places and spaces significant to the artists – from Jeddah to Buhairat al-Asfar, Khobar to Baghdad, locations in their past and some that exist only in their imagination. Saudi art pioneers Safeya Binzagr and Abdulhalim Radwi headline the show, which adds works by Abdulrahman Al-Soliman, a Sharqiyah-based Saudi modernist pioneer, to the list of artists presented in Jeddah.

The contemporary and modern art exhibition enriches the Kingdom’s artistic landscape, showcasing the work of established and emerging creatives from Saudi Arabia, Chile, Iraq, Pakistan, Lebanon and Palestine around a common theme.

Safeya Binzagr, Drawings. Al-Mansouria Collection مجموعة المنصورية
Safeya Binzagr, Drawings. Al-Mansouria Collection مجموعة المنصورية

21,39’s Amakin is comprised of special commissions and loans including selected artworks from the Al-Mansouria Collection, and features paintings, drawings, artist books, film, textile and sculpture. Poetry plays a strong role in the exhibition, and many of the works are on paper in the form of books.

This is the first 21,39 exhibition to travel beyond Jeddah. 21,39 Jeddah Arts is a non-profit initiative organized by SAC – led by Her Royal Highness Princess Jawaher Bint Majed Bin Abdulaziz – who wish to contribute to the local community through the promotion of art and culture. 21,39’s Amakin is presented at Ithra in partnership with SAC.


The exhibition is on view at Ithra until the 30th of September, 2022

Al-Mansouria Collection مجموعة المنصورية

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