December 2023

Zahrah Al Ghamdi’s “The Cell” to take over Art Jameel’s Façade
Zahrah Al Ghamdi, The Cell, on the Art Jameel Façade

Art Jameel launched the 2023 Hayy Jameel Façade Commission, which it awarded to artist Zahra AlGhamdi. This annual program provides Saudi artists the opportunity to create a significant public work on the 25-meter “canvas” of Hayy Jameel in Jeddah. AlGhamdi’s winning proposal, titled “The Cell,” features fabric pieces in various hues and textures blended with clay, invoking primal materials and shared human histories. The commission, supported by Abdul Latif Jameel Motors – Lexus KSA, underscores Art Jameel’s commitment to fostering local artists and bringing ambitious art into everyday life, celebrating Jeddah’s vibrant cultural landscape. The jury, including Manal AlDowayan and Sheena Wagstaff, praised AlGhamdi’s ingenuity and integration of locally sourced materials. Two proposals received a Jury Special Mention: “Children of the Sea” by Basmah Felemban, Abeer Sultan, and Mubarak Mahdi, and “Manifesting Eve” by Sarah Al Abdali.

Nour Malas joins Carbon 12’s roster of artists

Nour Malas, a Syrian Canadian artist is now represented by Carbon 12. Malas who has called various places home, seeks solace in the ordinary. Currently based in Chicago, where she earned her MFA in sculpture at SAIC, Malas previously completed her BFA at Goldsmiths University in London. With a background in the United Arab Emirates, her artistic practice is shaped by the diverse cities and cultures that have influenced her upbringing. Malas has showcased her work in group exhibitions across Chicago, Dubai, London, and Greece, and in 2019, she held her inaugural solo exhibition titled ‘Desperately Continuous Bodies’ in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Curators of Desert X AlUla 2024 Announced
Maya El Khalil & Marcello Dantas

Desert X AlUla, the international open-air art exhibition in the Arabian Peninsula’s ancient AlUla region, returns from February 9 to March 23, 2024. Maya El Khalil, a distinguished art advisor and curator with a focus on the MENA region, and Marcello Dantas, an award-winning curator known for innovative interdisciplinary practices linking science, history, and technology in engaging exhibition experiences, contribute their expertise to shaping the exhibition.  This third edition, part of the AlUla Arts Festival, explores the theme “In the Presence of Absence,” urging artists to delve into the unseen and inexpressible aspects of deserts. Fostering cultural dialogue, the collaboration between Desert X and the Royal Commission for AlUla highlights site-responsive exhibitions as a dialogue with nature. Desert X AlUla’s success paved the way for Wadi AlFann, a 2026 initiative for permanent land art. AlUla, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, embraces arts and creativity, celebrating its rich cultural legacy through festivals, exhibitions, and community engagement.


Tashkeel Presents Tanween Design Pieces Highlighting Sustainability Themes at COP28

Tashkeel showcases the Tanween Collection by UAE-based designers at COP28 in Dubai. Part of a nine-month design development program, these pieces reflect sustainable practices and upcycling initiatives. “Doroob,” a multifunctional design by Mohamed Elnaggar & Maryam Elattar, uses reclaimed materials from construction projects. Chinara Darwish’s “Alchemy Series” transforms marine industry and construction waste into a bespoke dining table. Ebrahim Assur’s “Kaseeriya” bench and stool set embodies simplicity and sustainability. “Yereed” by Lina Ghalib reclaims palm leaf branches, while Hala Al Ani’s “Liminal Series” uses salt formations for tables. Lana El Samman’s “Mokaعab” modular table/shelf and Latifa Saeed’s “Braided Series” sofa blend traditional UAE craft practices with contemporary design. These designs were not only featured at COP28 but also showcased at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Yas Island in November.

Sharjah Art Foundation announces a new podcast ‘Speaking of Art’

Sharjah Art Foundation launches its latest podcast, “Speaking of Art,” hosted by Hoor Al Qasimi, the Foundation’s Director. The podcast features diverse perspectives on contemporary art from Asia, Africa, and beyond, presenting in-depth conversations with influential artists and curators. Delving into the impact of their work on the current moment and its historical significance, each episode is accompanied by a Backstory video exploring the genesis, context, and meaning of an artwork. Tune in biweekly from December 2023 to April 2024 for insightful episodes on Lubaina Himid, Magda Stawarska, Gavin Jantjes, Henok Melkamzer, and Lala Rukh, and insights into the Casablanca Art School. “Speaking of Art” is available on Apple, Spotify, Google, and other podcast platforms.


Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani Launches ‘The Power Of Culture’ Podcast Series

HE Sheikha Al Mayassa Official Portrait_Credit Brigitte Lacombe

Qatar Creates, the cultural movement championed by Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums, launches a podcast and corresponding book titled ‘The Power of Culture.’ Premiering on December 10, 2023, the podcast, available on platforms like Spotify and Apple Podcasts, features insightful one-on-one conversations between Sheikha Al Mayassa and influential figures in arts, culture, and design. The debut episode includes a discussion with Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jacques Herzog. The associated book, available globally, serves as a personal guide to Qatar’s cultural landscape and a memoir, highlighting the nation’s commitment to fostering creativity and supporting artists. Both podcast and book underscore Qatar’s position as a vibrant hub for the arts and culture. The diverse lineup includes renowned architects, artists, curators, and cultural diplomats, showcasing their contributions to Qatar’s cultural development. ‘The Power of Culture’ podcast aligns with Qatar Creates’ mission to enrich cultural experiences and promote intercultural dialogue in line with Qatar National Vision 2030.

Sharjah Art Foundation offers workshops at heritage house Bait Obaid Al Shamsi

Workshop for DIY zine making, Focal Point 2023. Learning Programme for Youth and Adults, Bait Obaid Al Shamsi, Arts Square, Sharjah, 2023. Image courtesy Sharjah Art Foundation. Photo: Motaz Mawid

Sharjah Art Foundation spotlights the distinctive architecture of the heritage house, Bait Obaid Al Shamsi, through its annual cultural gathering. Taking place from December 9, 2023, to January 20, 2024, Bait Al Shamsi Nights offers workshops and excursions with a specific focus on visual arts. This year’s program encourages community involvement in exploring Palestine’s history through activities like communal journaling and archival investigations. The seven-week initiative includes diverse workshops, covering bookbinding, drawing, sound art, creative writing, and riso printing in collaboration with Fikra Studio. Centred around Bait Obaid Al Shamsi, participants can engage in researching, documenting, and sketching Sharjah’s urban landscape. Facilitated in both English and Arabic, these sessions, led by professional artists and practitioners, are free of charge, with materials provided.

Qatar Museums Participates in COP 28

Eng. Dhabya Jamal Sayar, Director of Facilities Management at QM

From November 30 to December 12, 2023, Qatar Museums (QM) was present at the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28), a global gathering focused on combating climate change. Hosted at Dubai Expo City, United Arab Emirates, the event provided QM with a platform to spotlight its commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability. Notably, the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) achieved a groundbreaking milestone, becoming the first museum in the Middle East and Asia to attain carbon neutrality certification for the reporting period of January to December 2021. QM’s participation at COP28 included a presentation, highlighting its journey toward carbon neutrality and contributions to global sustainability. Eng. Dhabya Jamal Sayar, Director of Facilities Management at Qatar Museums, expressed the institution’s commitment to setting new benchmarks in the cultural sector and leading global conversations on sustainability. QM’s active involvement in COP28 solidifies its role as a cultural institution dedicated to championing environmental responsibility, innovation, and sustainability on a global scale.

13th Edition of InClassica International Music Festival Arrives in Dubai in February 2024

InClassica International Music Festival

The 13th InClassica International Music Festival is set to open at the Dubai Opera from February 1st to 15th, 2024, concluding at Zabeel Theatre on the 23rd. Organised by SAMIT Event Group, this annual event transforms Dubai Opera into a haven for music enthusiasts, offering over two weeks of classical performances. With a lineup of 19 globally acclaimed soloists and orchestras led by renowned conductors, the festival presents a cultural feast, featuring compositions from Brahms to contemporary works by Alexey Shor.

Hunna Art is now representing Amina Yahia

Amina Yahya

Amina Yahia has joined Hunna Art’s roster of artists. Cairo-born artist Amina Yahia seamlessly blends notions of human interaction with folkloric and systematic influences on belief and behaviour. Her work delves into socially influenced behaviour, exploring the ritualistic and almost spiritual aspects arising from repetition. Rooted in post and neocolonial Egyptian society, Yahia’s large-scale paintings focus on the female identity. Her depictions often juxtapose control systems and reflections of the self, featuring life-sized, satirical figures. Yahia’s narratives seek to dissect the uncanny, banal, intimate, violent, and sensual aspects of the body, exploring the remnants of cultural embeddedness within bodily movement and function.

Qatar Museums presents the First Large-Scale Exhibition of Contemporary Art from Qatar in China

Presented at Yuz Museum Shanghai, “Watering the Desert | Contemporary Art from Qatar” marks a significant milestone as the first extensive exhibition of Qatari and Qatar-based contemporary artists in China. Curated by Issa Al Shirawi and Maryam Hassan Al Thani from Qatar Museums, the collaboration with Yuz Museum brings forth the works of 34 artists, designers, and filmmakers rooted in Qatar’s art scene. Exploring themes of shared experiences, evolving notions of home, urban dynamics, and the intersection of art with nature, the exhibition harmoniously blends Qatar’s traditional essence with its dynamic contemporary spirit.

The Arab Literature Prize 2023 awarded to Feurat Alani

Feurat Alani wins the Arab Literature Prize 2023

In its 11th edition, the Arab Literature Prize 2023 jury, comprising art and culture personalities along with Arab world specialists, selected French Iraqi Feurat Alani’s debut novel ‘Je me souviens de Falloujah’ (“I Remember Fallujah”). They commented on the novel: “a moving exploration of amnesia and rediscovered memory between France and Iraq, delving into the complex yet tender relationship between a father and his son, exile, and memories of a torn country. With finesse, tenderness, intelligence, and humour.” Pierre Leroy, President of the jury, emphasises the prize’s primary mission of amplifying Arab writers’ voices in France and fostering cultural understanding. Jack Lang highlighted the award’s role in showcasing Arab cultural richness amid dwindling Arabic text translations.

November 2023

Rizq Art Initiative (RAi) Unveils Abu Dhabi Space, Pioneering Global South Artists

Rizq Art Initiative Opens In Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi welcomes the launch of Rizq Art Initiative (RAi), an independent cultural institution dedicated to spotlighting and nurturing talent from the Global South. Founded by Shafeena Yusuff Ali and curated by Meena Vari, RAi aims to weave diverse artistic threads into the UAE’s cultural fabric, fostering a global dialogue. RAi kicks off with the exhibition “In the Dusky Path of a Dream: Notes from Abstracting the Real,” featuring 27 Indian artists exploring memory, identity, and environmental change. The initiative’s inclusive approach promises to enhance Abu Dhabi’s cultural landscape, starting a dynamic and inclusive artistic era.

Controversy Surrounds Kunsthalle Basel’s New Director Over Palestine Support

Mohamed Almusibli. Photo courtesy of Kunsthalle Basel.

Mohamed Almusibli’s appointment as the upcoming director of Kunsthalle Basel sparked controversy due to his recent support for Palestine. A petition backing him has gained over 2,000 signatures. Hailing from Geneva, the 33-year-old curator, known for his work with Cherish and Amsterdam’s Hartwig Art Foundation, is set to replace Elena Filipovic. The local paper, Basler Zeitung, criticised his signing of open letters, questioning if the Basel Art Association knew about it and if it could affect funding. The association expressed support, condemning terrorism, racism, and discrimination. An online petition defends Almusibli, recognising the rising polarisation and condemning antisemitism and anti-Arab sentiment.

Sharjah Art Foundation Announces Winners of 2023 Publishing Grant

Details from publication research process: Stinking Tree by Areej Ashab and Ailo Ribas. Photo by Ailo Ribas in Dheisheh Refugee Camp, Palestine, August 2022. Resurgent Nadha: The Arab Exhibitions in Mandate Jerusalem by Nadi Abusaada. Photograph from the Opening of the First Arab Exhibition in Jerusalem, 1933. In the Negative by Bilna’es, 2023 (from left to right).

Sharjah Art Foundation unveils the recipients of the 2023 Publishing Grant. Areej Ashhab and Ailo Ribas will produce “Stinking Tree,” an English-Arabic photo essay dissecting the ailanthus altissima tree’s ecological impact in Palestine. Bilna’es, initiated by Basel Abbas, Ruanne Abou-Rahme, and Muqata’a, will publish four booklets exploring visual culture’s political ties. Nadi Abusaada’s “Resurgent Nahda” honours 1930s Pan-Arab exhibitions in Jerusalem, promoting Arab renaissance free from European influence. The Palestinian Museum, Khaled Khatib, and Mohanad Yaqubi are supported for their research-based initiatives, contributing valuable perspectives to Palestinian cultural history and Arab cinematic production. Over 700 applicants submitted proposals, emphasising diverse linguistic and thematic approaches to publishing. The winning projects will receive $30,000 in support and be released during Focal Point 2024.

Dubai Design District (d3) and AlPi Forge Strategic Partnership to Boost Global Design Presence

d3 x AIPI 2 of 2

Dubai Design District (d3), a vital member of TECOM Group PJSC, has entered a strategic partnership with the Associazione Italiana Professionisti Interior Design (AlPi), the esteemed Italian Interior Design Association. This collaboration aims to elevate education, knowledge sharing, and business opportunities, fortifying Dubai’s standing as a global design and creative hub. In alignment with Dubai’s Creative Economy Strategy and the Dubai Economic Agenda ‘D33,’ the partnership fosters growth and innovation, contributing to the city’s UNESCO City of Design status. Through joint initiatives, educational programs, and exhibitions, the alliance envisions a dynamic exchange between Dubai’s thriving design community and Italy’s rich design heritage.3

A Palestinian Activist Art Project Chosen as an Official Collateral Event of the Venice Biennale

An exhibition by the Palestinian organisation Artists and Allies of Hebron has been selected as one of the 30 officially sanctioned Collateral Events for the 60th Venice Biennale, scheduled from April 20 to November 24, 2024. The exhibition, titled “Anchor in the Landscape,” curated by Issa Amro and Adam Broomberg, features photographs of ancient olive trees in Palestine, emblematic of Palestinian identity and resistance against Israeli occupation. The announcement follows the rejection of the Connecticut-based Palestine Museum U.S.’s proposal for a Collateral Event, sparking criticism. The Artists and Allies of Hebron’s project aims to shed light on Palestinian struggles, particularly in the face of apartheid conditions and checkpoints.

Tensions Over the Israel-Palestine Issue Erupt in Germany’s Cultural Sphere particularly Documenta 16

The ongoing Israel-Palestine divide has impacted the cultural sphere in Germany, particularly within Documenta 16. Two members of the finding committee, Ranjit Hoskoté and Bracha Lichtenberg Ettinger, resigned due to different issues related to the Middle Eastern issue. Hoskoté’s resignation followed reports of his signing a petition condemning an event related to the Israeli Consulate General, while Ettinger resigned citing difficulties contributing to the committee’s work after the attack on the 7th of October. The resignations highlight broader debates on free speech, and the impact of the Israel genocide on cultural events in Germany, including cancellations of various exhibitions and events. The tensions and controversies from Documenta 15 still linger, indicating ongoing challenges in navigating diverse perspectives within the cultural sphere.

Art Dubai Announces Gallery Line-up for 17th Edition

Dubai, UAE, General view, Art Dubai 2023, until 5 March, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Spark Media for Art Dubai)

Art Dubai unveils the gallery lineup for its 17th edition, occurring from February 28 to March 3, 2024, at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai. The leading international art fair for the Middle East and Global South features over 100 presentations from 60 cities and 40 countries. Highlights include Art Dubai Digital’s third edition, Bawwaba’s solo artist presentations curated by Emiliano Valdés, Art Dubai Modern focusing on post-1960 cultural exchanges with the Soviet Union, and a record 21 Dubai-based exhibitors. Reflecting Dubai’s expanding cultural scene, the fair emphasizes the Global South’s diverse narratives and histories. The event aims to redefine the “Global South” beyond traditional boundaries, showcasing artists from diverse communities worldwide.

Sharjah Art Book Fair, Focal Point marks its sixth edition
The sixth edition of Focal Point, Sharjah Art Foundation’s annual art book fair, unfolds from 24 to 26 November 2023 at Bait Obaid Al Shamsi in Sharjah’s historical district. Hosting over 100 participants, the fair spotlights artists’ presses, bookmakers, and non-commercial cultural producers fostering community engagement with independent publishing. It advocates for books as tools for social mobilisation and a just world. The program includes workshops on reading, libraries, and zine-making, along with activities exploring resources on Palestine and global liberation struggles. The fair will unveil new Foundation publications, feature a Risograph live print station, and showcase curated graphic novels and manga from Kinokuniya. The event will also announce the recipients of the 2023 Publishing Grant, awarding a total of 30,000 USD to multiple grantees. Focal Point, inaugurated in 2018, serves as a critical space for knowledge sharing and community building, organised into three main sections: International, Edit, and Local, emphasizing UAE-based publishers. The fair’s program offers diverse workshops and reading sessions, emphasising the active and performative potential of museum collections.
Christie’s auction ‘Marhala: Highlights from the Dalloul Collection’ exceeds sales expectations
Mahmoud Said Fille à l’imprimé (Girl in a printed dress),1938

Christie’s reports the outcomes of “Marhala: Highlights from the Dalloul Collection,” a single-owner assembly of 48 masterpieces, surpassing expectations by reaching £3,064,320 / US$3,759,921 against a pre-sale high estimate of £2.3 million / US$2.8 million. The live London auction attracted global interest with bidders from 14 countries, notably drawing 25% millennials. The top lot, “Fille à l’imprimé (Girl in a printed dress)” by Mahmoud Saïd, exceeded estimates at £567,000 / US$695,709. Competitive phone bidding occurred for works by Samia Halaby, with “Return (no 323)” realising £233,100 / US$286,014. Contributing to the auction’s four records, it achieved a remarkable 99% sold by value and 96% sold by lot.

Saudi artist Obaid Alsafi announced the winner of the Ithra Art Prize
Obaid Alsafi

The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) revealed Saudi artist Obaid Alsafi as the victor of the 6th Ithra Art Prize, the region’s most substantial art grant, offering $100,000 and up to $400,000 for project funding. Themed “Art in the Landscape” in collaboration with Arts AlUla and the Royal Commission for AlUla, the prize sought site-specific public artwork proposals for AlUla, emphasising local materials. Alsafi, with a background in computer science, won with “Palms in Eternal Embrace,” a large-scale installation addressing environmental conservation. The piece will debut at the Arts AlUla Festival, reflecting on the extinction of palm trees in the region.

Christie’s pulls two paintings by Ayman Baalbaki from their auction

Ayman Baalbaki, Anonymous (2011-2018). Courtesy Bonhams.

Last week, Christie’s received complaints about two paintings by Ayman Baalbaki set for auction, which have since been removed. The decision was not explained by Christie’s, citing confidentiality. One painting, “Al Moulatham,” shows a man in a keffiyeh. The second, “Anonymous,” depicts a man in a gas mask with a bandana during the Arab Spring. The consignor believes a misunderstanding over their subject, possibly linked to Islamist extremism, led to removal. Ayman Baalbaki, a Lebanese artist, explored themes of displacement and resistance. The artworks, part of a series, have circulated on the secondary market.

Tashkeel’s Tanween Programme Celebrates a Decade of Creativity at  Dubai Design Week 2023

Tashkeel, a pioneer in fostering creativity and innovation, commemorates a decade of nurturing design projects in the UAE through its Tanween design program. The program unveils four new sustainable furniture and lighting pieces at Downtown Design during Dubai Design Week 2023. Developed by the latest Tanween cohort, including talents like Marwa Abdelrahim and Wafa Al Falahi, these designs embody a decade of learning and creativity. Notably, 23 limited-edition pieces from previous editions are available through Tashkeel’s furniture and lighting series, The Tanween Collection, contributing to the growth of the local design landscape.

Artforum’s editor in chief David Velasco fired for publishing open letter supporting Palestine

David Velasco at Fondazione Prada on April 18, 2018, in Milan, Italy. Photo by Pietro D’Aprano/Getty Images for Fondazione Prada.

The editor-in-chief of Artforum, David Velasco, was fired after six years in the role. This decision followed the publication of an open letter supporting Palestine by Artforum on October 19. The publishers clarified that the letter had been shared without their prior knowledge and had been misinterpreted as a statement from the magazine. The letter faced criticism for not addressing the attacks by Hamas on Israel on October 7. Several signatories withdrew their names in response. The publishers expressed regret over the misinterpretation and the pressure it caused, while David Velasco, one of the signatories, stated that he had no regrets and was disappointed with the magazine’s response to outside pressure.

L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts opens its fourth permanent international campus at Dubai Design District (d3)

Rendering of L’ÉCOLE Middle East – Constance Guisset Studios

Building on the success of its travelling school sessions in the Middle East, L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts, is solidifying its presence in the region. In November, a permanent campus is set to open in Dubai within the Dubai Design District (d3), a global creative hub under TECOM Group PJSC. Founded in 2012 in Paris with the backing of Van Cleef & Arpels, L’ÉCOLE’s mission is to make jewellery culture accessible to everyone, whether beginners, collectors, the simply curious, or young enthusiasts. They offer an extensive program of courses, talks, free temporary exhibitions, publications, and research projects. The jewellery world’s vast and universal appeal is the driving force behind L’ÉCOLE’s global expansion. Currently, they have two permanent campuses in Paris and one in Hong Kong, with two more planned for 2023 in Shanghai and Dubai.

Mohamad Abdouni wins the Lafayette Anticipations Prize in Paris at Art Basel 2023

View from Marfa’ booth at Paris +. Left to right: Diana Campbell Bétancourt, Guillaume Houzé, Mohamad Abdouni, Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel, Ruba Katrib, Akeem Smith, Clément Délépine.

Mohamad Abdouni won the Lafayette Anticipations Prize in Paris at Art Basel 2023. He was selected by an international panel to produce a new piece commissioned by Groupe Lafayette. This artwork emerges through a series of workshops and is displayed at Lafayette Anticipations. Abdouni’s ongoing project, “Treat Me Like Your Mother: Trans* Histories From Beirut’s Forgotten Past,” is an endeavour. It encompasses rare archives of Transfeminine experiences and oral histories from Lebanon’s 1980s, 1990s, and post-war era. The archive, comprising over 300 photographs, is hosted at the Arab Image Foundation, constituting a groundbreaking photographic repository in the Arab region, shedding light on Trans* women’s experiences over the last four decades.

The Path to Mecca‘ rare world map to be auctioned off at Bonhams Islamic and Indian Art Sale

A 17th-century Safavid brass Mecca-Centred World Map.

A rare Mecca-centered world map of Islamic origin, considered a Safavid Persia masterpiece, will take centre stage at the Islamic and Indian Art Sale on November 14th at Bonhams New Bond Street. Previously displayed at the Harvard Museum of Art, this map, dating from the late 17th century, is the most exceptional and complete of only three surviving Mecca-centered world maps (the other two were discovered in 1989 and 1995). It’s a groundbreaking Islamic scientific artefact with an estimated value of £1,500,000-2,000,000. These maps marked a significant turning point in the academic understanding of Islamic cartography, as they are the sole surviving examples of Islamic world maps with properly marked localities on a coordinate grid, revolutionising our perception of Islamic cartographers and their advanced instruments. Other highlights of the sale include a gilt-copper hilted steel sword from the armoury of Tipu Sultan, a gem-set enamelled gold armlet from Maharani Jindan Kaur’s collection, a rare portrait of a lady in a European dress from Safavid Persia, and a fine Mughal gem-set enamelled steel push dagger from India.

October 2023

Sharjah Art Foundation announces curators for Sharjah Biennial 16

(Left to right): Natasha Ginwala (Photo: Victoria Tomaschko), Amal Khalaf (Photo: Christa Holka), Zeynep Öz (Photo: Öykü Çakar-Smith), Alia Swastika (Photo: Yudha Kusum) and Megan Tamati-Quennell (Photo: Ola Thorsen, US Embassy New Zealand)

Sharjah Art Foundation revealed the curators for Sharjah Biennial 16, commencing in February 2025. The lineup includes Natasha Ginwala, Artistic Director of COLOMBOSCOPE, and Associate Curator at Gropius Bau; Amal Khalaf, Director of Programmes at Cubitt and Civic Curator at the Serpentine Galleries; Zeynep Öz, an independent curator based in Istanbul and New York; Alia Swastika, Director of the Biennale Jogja Foundation; and Megan Tamati-Quennell, a New Zealand-based curator focusing on Māori and Indigenous art. They are each crafting distinct yet interconnected projects, encompassing a wide array of perspectives within contemporary art. The Biennial will continue its tradition of activating venues across Sharjah, fostering artistic experimentation and discourse on critical contemporary topics. Sharjah Biennial 16 will run from February to June 2025.

Sharjah Art Foundation’s new season of performances

Bait Al Serkal, 2023. Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation. Photo: Motaz Mawid

The Sharjah Art Foundation presents the second season of Perform Sharjah, a programme inviting the community to engage with eight diverse performances presented across the city from October 19, 2023, to February 11, 2024. Curated by Tarek Abou El Fetouh, Director of Performance and Senior Curator, this season explores the urban development project initiated 30 years ago, incorporating heritage preservation and the establishment of art and culture hubs in Sharjah. The artistic journey begins and ends in the city’s historical heart, emphasising the significance of heritage and modern archives in contemporary expression. The varied performances cover subjects like political, cultural, and economic critiques, the importance of hope, political upheaval, and the potential of the human body in art. This season aims to encapsulate the intersection of culture, memory, and contemporary life. Perform Sharjah also offers audiences a chance to take part in workshops, talks, and discussions, fostering learning and engagement with theatre and performance arts.

Palestinian Swedish artist Tarik Kiswanson wins the Marcel Duchamp Prize, France’s Most Prestigious Art Award

Portrait of Tarik Kiswanson. Photo Julie Ansiau. Courtesy of the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery Beirut/Hamburg

Palestinian Swedish artist Tarik Kiswanson has been awarded France’s Marcel Duchamp Prize for 2023. This accolade includes a cash prize and a residency at Villa Albertine, a French organisation based in New York with additional branches across the U.S. The prize, initiated by the Association for the International Diffusion of French Art (ADIAF) in 2000, is granted to French artists or those residing in France. Kiswanson was chosen by a seven-member jury, and his work is described as a multidisciplinary exploration of themes related to his family’s Palestinian roots, examining aspects of belonging, memory, heritage, and the immigrant experience. Born in 1986 in Sweden, Kiswanson explores rootlessness, regeneration, and renewal in his diverse artistic practice, which includes sculpture, writing, performance, and more. His work delves into the poetics of métissage, navigating multiple conditions and contexts through distinct conceptual themes. His Pompidou exhibition, which he shares with three other nominees, runs until January 12, 2024. His win adds him to a list of notable past Marcel Duchamp Prize recipients, such as Kader Attia, Mimosa Echard, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, and Melik Ohanian.

We Design Beirut postponed to March 2024

Due to the recent Israel-Gaza war, the awaited We Design Beirut festival in Lebanon, initially set for October 27 – 30, 2023, has been postponed until 4 – 7 March 2024. The violence and its consequences have spread into Lebanon, prompting event organisers to delay the event for safety and sensitivity reasons. The conflict claimed over 1,500 lives and left Lebanon’s southern borders affected. Mariana Wehbe, founder and creative director of We Design Beirut, expressed that they couldn’t risk anyone’s safety and that it was inappropriate to celebrate amidst such darkness and tragedy, given the recent loss of life. The festival aimed to revive Lebanon’s design scene following a series of hardships, including an economic crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the 2020 Beirut Port Explosion.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award 2024 open call to UAE-based artists

The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award 2022 winning installation, Urban Fabric, unveiled at Abu Dhabi Art

Under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) and the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) have announced that they are accepting applications for The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award 2024 until January 31, 2024. This award, initiated in 2012 with The NYUAD Art Gallery, aims to support budding artists across the Emirates, fostering new art creations and providing winners with insights into the life of a professional artist. Entrants, including UAE-based students and recent graduates, are encouraged to explore various artistic media and exhibit their work creatively in public settings. The winning artist or team will receive USD 10,000 for their installation. The award’s spirit aligns with the legacy of artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, who shared a deep connection with the UAE. The winning artwork will be unveiled at Abu Dhabi Art on November 21 and will tour various locations, including NYU Abu Dhabi, Um El Emarat Park, and Jubail Mangrove Park. Last year’s winners, Vivi Zhu, Majd Alloush, and Hala El Abora, focused on UAE’s mangrove ecosystems to raise awareness about climate change’s impact. Christo and Jeanne-Claude were renowned for their temporary, transformative public art installations worldwide, and this award serves as a tribute to their commitment to supporting emerging artists in the UAE. Entrants need to submit an application form with a proposed budget and schedule to apply.

Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation Presents ‘Art @ Embassies’ Hosts panel celebrating Emirati Artist Farah Al Qasimi

Abu Dhabi Music Art Foundation London

The Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF) hosted the second-panel discussion as part of the ‘Art @ Embassies’ initiative under the honorary patronage of H.H Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and in conjunction with the 20th edition of the Abu Dhabi Festival, patronised by Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Nahyan. This event took place on October 6 at the UAE Embassy in London, UK, with esteemed dignitaries, including Her Excellency Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo, Founder of ADMAF, and Sheikh Khalid Saud AlQasimi, Deputy Chief of Mission at the UAE Embassy in the UK. The discussion celebrated Farah Al Qasimi’s solo exhibition, “ABORT, RETRY, FAIL,” and explored her diverse body of work that interweaves tradition, modernity, and technology, fostering cultural exchange and artistic dialogue through the ‘Art @ Embassies’ initiative. Farah’s work has been acquired by renowned art museums worldwide, reinforcing ADMAF’s commitment to inspiring creativity and celebrating diverse expressions of art.

The first Abu Dhabi Poetry Festival opens at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center

The first Abu Dhabi Poetry Festival, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi inaugurated at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).  The festival signifies broader efforts to celebrate UAE cultural heritage by promoting traditional poetry to new audiences, preserving this literary form for future generations, and fostering global artistic and intellectual connections. The cultural event, gathers poets, intellectuals, authors, and media professionals to celebrate Arab poetry. The festival encompasses various poetic styles, cultural seminars, poetry evenings, book signings, and a dedicated children’s pavilion, promoting poetry and literary arts.

Sharjah Art Foundation offers a new season of workshops and other learning activities

Meetup on portrait photography, Learning Programme for Youth and Adults, The Flying Saucer, Sharjah, 2023

Sharjah Art Foundation’s Learning Programs present a series of workshops and educational activities aimed at cultivating a wide array of artistic skills. Scheduled from October 15 to December 25, 2023, across multiple venues in Sharjah, including The Flying Saucer, Collections Building, and Sharjah Art Institute, these programs draw inspiration from the Foundation’s exhibitions, enabling participants to engage and learn from experienced artists and cultural practitioners. Sessions are conducted in English and/or Arabic, and all are offered free of charge, with materials provided.

  1. Learning Program for Children and Families (October 14 – November 26, 2023): Geared toward learners aged 6 to 15 and their families, this program offers workshops in scanner photography, murals, weaving, mosaic sculptures, book and zine design, and more. Collaboration with local universities brings senior art students and recent graduates to facilitate some workshops, sharing their passion for art with children.
  2. Learning Program for Youth and Adults (October 15 – November 19, 2023): Designed for learners aged 17 and above, this program introduces concepts, theories, tools, and techniques to enhance creativity and develop professional skills. Workshop topics include darkroom photography, museum education, film and video fair use policies, portfolio development, and grant writing. Participants can also engage with ongoing exhibitions through talks with artists and curators. Additionally, the program offers community meetups and book club sessions for like-minded individuals to share techniques, stories, books, and drawings.
  3. Early Learning Program (October 30 – December 25, 2023): Tailored for children aged 3 to 5, this program offers various workshops, providing quality bonding time for parents and guardians. Activities encompass puppet-making, a parachute game, and exploration of different mediums and textures.

Light Art Exhibition Set to illuminate Abu Dhabi’s archipelagos and mangroves this November

teamLab, Pillars that Dance with the Wind © teamLab

From November 15, 2023, to January 30, 2024, Manar Abu Dhabi, part of the Public Art Abu Dhabi initiative, will illuminate the natural landscapes of Abu Dhabi with light art exhibitions. Under the theme “Grounding Light,” the event will feature over 35 new site-specific artworks, light sculptures, projections, and immersive pieces by artists such as Alaa Edris, Carsten Höller, Groupe F, Mohammed Kazem, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Samia Halaby, teamLab, and more. The art installations will grace various locations, including Lulu Island, Corniche Road, Samaliyah Island, Fahid Island, Jubail mangroves, Saadiyat Island, and the Eastern mangroves. Manar Abu Dhabi represents a unique opportunity for residents and visitors to engage with art. The initiative, co-curated by Reem Fadda and Alia Zaal Lootah, is a significant component of the Public Art Abu Dhabi project, endorsed by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi). It seeks to connect aesthetics, history, and societal values, fostering cultural dialogue. With over 35 commissioned artworks by local and international artists, spanning light projections, sculptures, installations, and performances. Through a robust public program of talks, workshops, and art performances, Manar Abu Dhabi aims to offer a multi-sensory experience that connects art with the natural world.

Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi shares insights on art’s role in societal transformation at AUS

The American University of Sharjah (AUS) recently hosted “A Look at the Social Dimension of Modern Arab Art,” a lecture by Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, Founder of the Barjeel Art Foundation and AUS Board of Trustees member. Al Qassemi engaged AUS students in an exploration of how modern art reflects and influences societal changes, emphasising art’s role as both a witness and commentator on evolving societies. He encouraged students to delve deep into the art of the Arab world and beyond, highlighting its significance in understanding history and civilization. The AUS Student Council provided students with an opportunity to expand their understanding of art’s intricate connection with society.

ATHR Gallery inaugurates their new gallery space in Riyadh

ATHR Gallery is expanding its presence to the JAX District in Diriyah, Riyadh. The grand opening is scheduled for the end of November. Previously used for various art projects, this space will now transform into a permanent gallery, kicking off with a solo exhibition by a renowned Saudi artist. This new location will act as an extension of ATHR Gallery’s existing one in Jeddah, offering a year-round program of exhibitions. Some exhibitions will move between the Riyadh and Jeddah locations. This marks the establishment of ATHR Gallery’s third site, joining the current galleries in Jeddah and AlUla.

Selma Feriani announces the launch of their new museum-standard gallery in Tunis

Selma Feriani announces the upcoming inauguration of her new gallery, set to open its doors in January 2024, just a few kilometers northeast of downtown Tunis, Tunisia. Designed by architect Chacha Atallah, this gallery spans 2000 m2, making it the first of its kind in North Africa. To mark over a decade of the gallery’s growth, it will kick off with an inaugural exhibition featuring unseen works by Tunisian artist Nidhal Chamekh, based in Paris, running from January 25 to April 7th, 2024. Much of the exhibit will be created in Tunis at the gallery’s L’Atelier space. Established in 2013, first in London and later in Sidi Bou Saïd, Tunis, Selma Feriani’s new purpose-built space in the rapidly developing Tunis Lake district will become the gallery’s primary location. This gallery offers 800sqm of museum-quality exhibition space, including a basement for projections, performances, and talks, a mezzanine exhibition platform, a spacious exhibition hall with 6.5m high ceilings, a bookshop, and an annual outdoor sculpture commission in its adjoining garden. The eco-friendly building uses solar energy and features an integrated rainwater harvesting system to address prolonged droughts.

‘Tripoli Fair: The Way I See It’ Art Prize open call

Tripoli Fair: The Way I See It

The Embassy of Brazil in Beirut and the Guimarães Rosa Institute – Beirut are the proud sponsors and organisers of this art prize, in light of UNESCO’s recent recognition of the International Fair Rachid Karami in Tripoli, Lebanon, as a World Heritage site, with the added designation of being in danger. Designed by the renowned Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, famous for his public buildings in Brazil and beyond, this fair holds a special place in history. The theme of the art prize is “Tripoli Fair: The Way I See It,” which aims to shed light on the Fair’s conservation, Oscar Niemeyer’s work, Modernist architecture in Lebanon, and the Fair’s role in the contemporary and future Lebanese context. Artists can submit original, unpublished digital images in various forms, such as photography, illustration, or etching. Eligible participants include Lebanese citizens aged 18 to 35, whether residing in Lebanon or abroad, along with non-Lebanese residents in Lebanon within the same age bracket.

Qatar Museums Collaborates with Expo 2023 Doha to Offer a Host of Public Activities

In commitment to enriching both local and global communities through cultural exchange and dialogue, Qatar Museums is set to host a series of engaging activities, events, and exhibitions during Expo 2023 Doha, spanning from October 2, 2023, to March 28, 2024. These diverse offerings, curated by Qatar Museums, have been shaped around the overarching theme of Expo 2023, “Green Desert, Enhanced Environment.” The program will revolve around key themes encompassing sustainability, well-being, the natural world, agriculture, technology, mobility, and more. Participating venues and entities from Qatar Museums include Dadu: Children’s Museum of Qatar, the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA), the National Museum of Qatar (NMOQ), 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic & Sports Museum (QOSM), Qatar Auto Museum, Fire Station: Artists in Residence, Qatar Museum’s Archaeology and Heritage department, as well as the upcoming Lusail Museum, Qatar Auto Museum, and Art Mill Museum.

September 2023

Dubai Culture announces open call for ‘Al Marmoom Short-Film Competition’

Dubai Culture, as part of the 3rd edition of the ‘Al Marmoom: Film in the Desert’ festival, has opened the call for submissions to the ‘Al Marmoom Short-Film Competition.’ This competition aims to bolster the local film industry and nurture creative talent. Filmmakers from the local, regional, and international arenas are encouraged to participate, with submissions accepted from July 18, 2023, until the final deadline on October 18, 2023. A dedicated committee, consisting of directors, filmmakers, and experts, will meticulously review and evaluate the entries, selecting the films that will contend for the festival’s prestigious awards. This initiative by Dubai Culture supports and enriches Dubai’s creative economy, with competition categories including Documentaries, Animation, and Live Action films. Winners in each category will receive a cash prize of AED 30,000 and an honorary shield in recognition of their exceptional work.

Sharjah Art Foundation announce five curators for Sharjah Biennial 16

Sharjah Art Foundation introduces the five curators for Sharjah Biennial 16: Natasha Ginwala (Artistic Director, COLOMBOSCOPE, Colombo, and Associate Curator at Large, Gropius Bau, Berlin), Amal Khalaf (Director of Programmes, Cubitt, London, and Civic Curator, Serpentine Galleries, London), Zeynep Öz (independent curator, Istanbul, and New York), Alia Swastika (Director of the Biennale Jogja Foundation, Yogyakarta) and Megan Tamati-Quennell (curator of modern and contemporary Māori and Indigenous art, New Zealand).

These curators will propose distinct yet interconnected projects, offering a diverse global perspective on contemporary art. They will collaborate and engage in dialogue, utilising the Biennial’s 30-year history as a platform for artistic experimentation and discourse. Each curator will personally invite a selection of artists from various backgrounds and disciplines, showcasing both established and emerging talents in visual art, performance, music, and publications. Building on the Foundation’s commitment to engaging with Sharjah’s diverse communities, the Biennial will activate venues throughout the emirate. Sharjah Biennial 16 is scheduled to run from February to June 2025, with further details to be revealed in the coming months.

26 Moroccan Artists Join Forces for Earthquake Relief

Hassan Hajjaj – Groupie, Horse & Carriage

On the fateful evening of September 8th, Morocco was struck by a devastating earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale. The nation is now grappling with a staggering toll: over 2,000 lives lost, 1,404 individuals severely injured, and more than 300,000 people already affected, with this number expected to rise. Urgent pleas for international assistance have arisen as the earthquake’s epicentre in the remote Atlas Mountains has left Amazigh villages in ruins, many still buried under debris or missing. To address this crisis, Artists For Morocco, a collective of 26 established and emerging Moroccan photographers and artists, has united under the leadership of Samira Larouci, Anass Ouaziz, and Ismail Elaaddioui. Notable artists such as Hassan Hajjaj, Meriem Bennani, and Yto Barrada are among the contributors. Through a print sale initiative, Artists for Morocco aims to direct all proceeds to two NGOs: the Amal Women’s Training Center, providing food aid to those in need in Marrakesh, and the Rif Tribes Foundation, delivering support to the affected remote villages.

Picasso’s 1932 Portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter displayed at Sotheby’s Dubai

© 2023 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Sotheby’s has made history by bringing Picasso’s 1932 portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter, valued at over $120 million, to the UAE for the first time in 50 years. This masterpiece, named “Femme à la Montre,” was part of art patron Emily Fisher Landau’s collection for five decades. Its significance in Picasso’s body of work, painted in his acclaimed ‘annus mirabilis’ of 1932, is profound. Notably, it features a watch on Marie-Thérèse’s wrist, a rare element in Picasso’s art, symbolizing the fleeting nature of love and life. This event underscores the Middle East’s growing prominence in the global art scene. The painting will be on view at Sotheby’s Dubai in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) on September 25 and 26.

Abdelmonem Alserkal awarded Chevalier of France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres

Abdelmonem Alserkal and His Excellency Nicolas Niemtchinow

Abdelmonem Alserkal, the founder of Alserkal Initiatives, has been honoured with the title of Chevalier (“knight”) of France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of the Arts and Letters). This recognition, bestowed by the French Ministry of Culture and presented by His Excellency Nicolas Niemtchinow, Ambassador of France to the United Arab Emirates, celebrates the enduring dedication of Abdelmonem and the Alserkal family to the arts. In his acceptance speech, Abdelmonem emphasised the significance of the community’s support over the years and the promise of future accomplishments, viewing the honour as a symbol of their contributions to UAE arts and culture.

The Institut du Monde Arabe Awards its first Design Prize to Nada Debs

Nada Debs.

Led by Jack Lang, the Institut du Monde Arabe has inaugurated its inaugural Design Awards, celebrating the rich tapestry of Arab cultures. Embracing its mission to showcase Arab talent and expertise, the institute ventures into the realm of design, bestowing three awards from a shortlist of fifteen contenders. Rooted in tradition and cultural exchange, this event fosters multicultural dialogues and provides international recognition to the participating artists. India Mahdavi, the renowned architect, designer, and scenographer, presided over this year’s competition, with Abdallah Al Mulla winning the Emerging Talent Award, Don Tanani receiving the Entrepreneurial Talent Award, and Studio KO’s Karl Fournier and Olivier Marty claiming the Grand Prize. The exceptional jury, including Ammar Basheir, Jean-Pierre Blanc, Isis-Colombe Combréas, Asad Syrkett, and Meriam Berrada, honoured Nada Debs with the prestigious Grand Prix d’Honneur. Debs, based in Beirut, showcases her ability to distill culture and craftsmanship into emotionally resonant pieces, spanning various design disciplines.

Manal AlDowayan Honoured the National Cultural Award in Visual Arts Arts Award by the Ministry of Culture Saudi Arabia

Prince Bader bin Farhan AlSaud with Manal AlDowayan

Manal AlDowayan has been honoured with the National Cultural Award in Visual Arts, presented by the Saudi Ministry of Culture to recognise Saudi achievements in the realm of creative arts and various cultural domains. The Minister of Culture and Governor of the Royal Commission for AlUla, Prince Bader bin Farhan Al Saud, presided over the awards ceremony held on September 9th in Riyadh, where the winners of the third National Cultural Awards were announced. Manal Al Dowayan’s art practice is a profound exploration of metamorphosis, particularly concerning gender-biased customs. Her work, spanning photography, sound, neon, and sculpture, delves into societal shifts. Notable projects include “Suspended Together” and “Esmi-My Name,” empowering Saudi women. Al Dowayan’s art bridges personal experiences and social issues, resonating with a global audience, especially women.

Saudi Arabia’s Cultural Centre Ithra unveils the winning artwork of the 5th Ithra Art Prize

Adel Abidin creating his winning piece for the Ithra Art Prize. Yasir Alqunais

The King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture (Ithra) has revealed the winner of the 5th Ithra Art Prize, “ON (عن),” by Iraqi-Finnish artist Adel Abidin. Selected from over 10,000 submissions by a distinguished jury, the artwork will join Ithra’s permanent collection. The Ithra Art Prize, the region’s largest art grant, awards the winning artist $100,000 and full project funding. Open to submissions from Arab countries, the prize promotes the creative landscape of the region. Abidin’s work re-examines the history of the 869AD rebellion in Iraq, offering a nuanced perspective through the repetition of ‘ON’ in Arabic script, representing oral storytelling’s lost historical records. The work encourages subjective interpretation, highlighting the fragility of history and memory. The 6th Ithra Art Prize, “Art in the Landscape,” was launched in partnership with Arts AlUla and the Royal Commission for AlUla, encouraging site-specific public artwork proposals related to AlUla’s unique landscapes. The winning artwork will be unveiled at the Arts AlUla Festival in February 2024, subsequently joining Ithra’s permanent collection.

Noor Riyadh 2023, the annual festival of light and art in Saudi Arabia, returns for its third edition

Refik Anadol, Machine Dreams_Space, 2022. Image courtesy the artist. Photo © Noor Riyadh 2022, a Riyadh Art program

The world’s largest light art festival, Noor Riyadh, is set to return for its third edition from November 30 to December 16, 2023, with an exhibition running until March 2, 2024. The festival will adorn Riyadh with light art installations, projections, and performances across five hubs, featuring more than 120 artworks by nearly 100 artists from over 35 nationalities, including over 35 Saudi artists. The theme, “The Bright Side of the Desert Moon,” is curated by Jérôme Sans and a team of curators. The festival aims to transform Riyadh into an open-air gallery, showcasing the city’s cultural growth and fostering community engagement through over 500 programs.

Noor Riyadh is part of Riyadh Art, an initiative aiming to make the Saudi capital a “gallery without walls” with more than 1,000 public art installations across the city. In 2022, the festival welcomed 2.8 million visitors and set six Guinness World Records, reinforcing its status as a global celebration of light art. His Highness Prince Badr bin Farhan Al Saud, Minister of Culture, expressed the government’s dedication to culture and the arts, ensuring that art remains accessible to everyone.

Tashkeel issues open call to three programmes for artists and designers

Tashkeel, an art and design incubator in the UAE, is inviting artists and designers to apply for three upcoming initiatives: the First Solo Residency, Critical Practice Programme, and Tanween Design Programme. These platforms offer creative practitioners opportunities to enhance their skills, advance their practice, and create new work.

The First Solo Residency provides Tashkeel members with a unique chance to refine their practice, experiment with new mediums, and exhibit their work. The program includes two six-week residencies, studio space, mentorship, resources, and funding, culminating in a solo exhibition at Tashkeel Al Fahidi.

Tashkeel’s Critical Practice Programme encourages critical thinking and experimentation. The 12-month journey, running from January to December 2024, challenges artists to engage with mentors, develop new skills, conduct research, and produce a new body of work. The resulting artworks will be showcased in a solo exhibition at Tashkeel in 2025.

The Tanween Design Programme spans 11 months and focuses on developing commercially viable design pieces that embody UAE contemporary design values and sustainability principles. It offers training in natural resource utilisation, traditional craftsmanship, and cutting-edge manufacturing technology, allowing early-career design practitioners to establish themselves in the UAE market. Final designs debut at Dubai Design Week.

Sabrina Amrani announces the representation of Wardha Shabbir

Wardha Shabbir. The Grass is Breathing, 2022. Gouache On Acid Free Paper, Image With Frame. 102.9 × 80 cm

Sabrina Amrani announces the addition of Wardha Shabbir to her roster of artists. Wardha employs traditional artistic techniques in both two and three-dimensional mediums to convey her life experiences and surroundings through miniature paintings. She revitalises these traditions by infusing contemporary themes and concepts related to nature. Within her work, she has crafted a unique artistic language – a realm teeming with trees, creatures, and surreal landscapes, a code the artist continually constructs and deciphers. Wardha Shabbir’s practice delves into the enduring relationship between humanity and nature, addressing both ancient history and contemporary existence. Wardha Shabbir’s artworks are part of private and corporate collections across Switzerland, Berlin, Dubai, India, Pakistan, New York, London, and Canada. Notably, in 2023, her work found a place in the prestigious British Museum in the UK and the Kiran Nadar Museum in India.

AlUla Design Award winners announced at Paris Design Week

Arts AlUla has unveiled the winners of the AlUla Design Award during Paris Design Week. The award garnered interest from both established and emerging designers, who harnessed their creativity to create retail designs across six categories inspired by AlUla’s rich heritage and artistic legacy. After a selection process led by a jury of industry leaders, ten finalists exhibited at Paris Design Week, with five winners announced:

  1. Tawa by Shaddah Studio (Saudi, based in Saudi Arabia)
  2. Naba Tea Tiffin by Ikkis, Gunjan Gupta (Indian, based in India)
  3. AlUla Terrains: Dates Serving Set by Teeb (Lebanese and Saudi, based in Saudi Arabia)
  4. Incense Heritage Collection by Sarra Hafaiedh (Tunisian, based in Tunisia)
  5. Oil Lantern by Imane Mellah (French, based in Paris)

The AlUla Design Award will further support these winners by commissioning select designs, offering production assistance, and facilitating promotion within AlUla and its network. An exhibition in Paris, curated by renowned designer Hervé Sauvage, showcases prototypes of all finalists from September 8 to September 16, 2023.

ADA Winners 2023

Hunna Art now representing Mashael Alsaie

Mashael Alsaie © Giulia Menenchella

Mashael Alsaie, a Bahraini multimedia artist born in 1994, delves into her practice with a research-driven exploration of Bahraini mythologies conveyed through text, imagery, and glass. Her art integrates elements of science fiction and ecofeminism, with a recent focus on the collective consciousness interwoven within the Adhari Spring myth. Inspired by the symbolism of water and rebirth, Alsaie’s latest work reimagines the narrative of the weeping maiden of Adhari, a folktale where a young heroine, upon encountering a man in a palm tree grove, transforms into an eternal spring after gesturing towards sexual violence. Her artwork has graced exhibitions worldwide, including notable features in publications such as Vogue and i-D Magazine.

A new location for Ashkal Alwan in Mar Mikhael

Ashkan Alwan, Mar Mikhael

Six months into their relocation to Mar Mikhael, Ashkal Alwan is reaping the benefits. Beyond the logistical challenge of moving, this transition prompts a reevaluation of their commitment to the communities they serve. Lebanon’s ongoing crises have necessitated creative problem-solving, pushing against reactionary forces threatening personal freedoms. Amid these hurdles, they scrutinise their institutional activities to chart productive paths for their future and Beirut’s ecosystem. Their new space spans three floors, accommodating diverse needs for work and social activities. The ground floor hosts a multipurpose room and kitchen, while the upper floors offer a library, research area, offices, artist studios, co-working spaces, project rooms, and a lounge—all open to the public. They’ve also launched various initiatives, including the Home Workspace Program and the School for Dissident Friendship, fostering a rich environment for artistic exploration. Recent programming includes lectures, film screenings, performances, and interventions addressing a range of issues from orality to environmental concerns.

Green Art Gallery adds Asma Belhamar to its roster of artists

Asma Belhamar

Green Art Gallery announces the representation of Emirati artist Asma Belhamar. Belhamar’s interdisciplinary approach delves into the megastructures in the Emirates and their impact on local landscape memory. Utilising installation, experimental print, video, and 3D modelling, she melds architecture and nature, crafting hybrid spaces that explore temporal and spatial memory. Her work aims to reveal how architectural trends shape global and local perceptions of the Emirates. Born in Dubai in 1988, Belhamar earned her BA in Visual Arts from Zayed University (2012) and MFA in Textile Design from Rhode Island School of Design (2017). She has garnered recognition, including being shortlisted for Dubai’s inaugural Public Art Commission (2023). Notable commissioned works include “Distorted Familiarities” for Expo 2020 (2021) and “The Edifice of Sba” at March Project, Sharjah Art Foundation (2019). An upcoming solo exhibition is scheduled at Warehouse421 in Abu Dhabi in September 2023.

August 2023

Spectrum Photographers in Residence Announces Open Call

The Photography Studio introduces a 16-week residency program, inviting six emerging artists to craft one or two artworks during their tenure. Resident artists will interpret a given theme, guiding them to create relevant yet personal photographs. Photographers in Residence, an artist hub, provides comprehensive support to emerging talents in photography and curation. Aimed at artists in early career stages, without established reputation or commercial representation, the research-oriented residency fosters discursive exchange and local engagement. Benefiting from the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi’s offering, including studio access, lighting equipment, curatorial mentorship, and a solo exhibition, the opportunity is open to UAE nationals and residents. The applications are open until August 31st, 2023.

Art Jameel Announces Open Call for Curators

Art Jameel has initiated an Open Call for exhibition proposals intended for the museum space at Hayy Jameel’s Hayy Arts in Jeddah. This call is in preparation for the anticipated opening in May 2024. They are actively searching for proposals that delve into the complexities of the Red Sea – encompassing its historical narratives, ecological systems, human and intellectual migration, and interlinked geographical realms. The chosen curator will collaborate closely with the Art Jameel team, benefiting from their support in the exhibition’s conception, execution, design, logistical aspects, and installation. The deadline for the Open Call is October 15th, 2023.

M7 and Printemps Doha Continue Launch “The Collective” Season Two Retail Incubation Program

M7 and Printemps Doha Continue to Empower Local Designers with the Launch of “The Collective” Season Two

M7, Qatar’s hub for design, fashion, and tech innovation, in collaboration with Printemps Doha, the largest luxury department store in Qatar, unveils the second season of ‘The Collective’ Retail Incubation Programme. This initiative aims to equip emerging designers with the tools and knowledge to establish successful retail businesses. Season two expands to include a diverse cohort of seven startup designer brands in Qatar and the Arab region, spanning abaya design, menswear, kidswear, footwear, and fashion accessories. Over five months, designers will undergo comprehensive coaching on various retail facets. Industry experts, including Laetitia Lumbroso and Chucri Cavalcanti, will guide in sales, distribution, and more. The journey culminates with capsule collections showcased at the M7 x Printemps Doha concept store in November 2023.

Mark Hachem Gallery announces new collaboration with Nadim Karam

Nadim Karam

Nadim Karam has joined Mark Hachem Gallery’s roaster of artists. Nadim Karam, an architect and versatile artist, was born in Senegal and operates from Beirut and Rotterdam. His formative years in Lebanon and his doctoral studies in Japan shaped his creative identity. Starting with early performance art projects in Tokyo, he evolved a distinctive visual language that weaved together spaces, memories, and humanity. Karam’s artistic output across diverse fields emerged as both an optimistic act of defiance and a testament to the potency of creativity in combating the monotony, lifelessness, or apprehension that can occasionally infiltrate our existence and urban environments.


The 6th Ithra Art Prize worth $100,000 will headline the 2024 AlUla Arts Festival

Ithra (The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture) – Photography by Ahmad Alnaji

The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) and the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) are jointly launching the 6th Ithra Art Prize, a pivotal partnership aimed at fostering arts and cultural industries throughout Saudi Arabia. Welcoming submissions until September 31, 2023, the prize offers a $100,000 grant. The winning artwork will debut at the AlUla Arts Festival in February 2024, highlighting the collaboration. This edition’s focus on outdoor installations and sculptures aligns with the partnership’s goal to empower creatives. A diverse panel of experts, including representatives from Ithra and RCU, will evaluate submissions. The prize supports Arab artists’ career growth, providing a $100,000 reward and covering production expenses up to $400,000. The winning artwork will join Ithra’s permanent collection.

Abu Dhabi Art set to host its largest fair to date in November 2023

Abu Dhabi Art 2023, endorsed by His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, will unfold from November 22 to 26, hosted at Manarat Al Saadiyat. Organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, this 15th edition emerges as the largest art fair to date, boasting 92 galleries from 31 nations. Serving as a culmination of a year-long visual arts initiative, the art fair vitalises the burgeoning art scene in the WANASA region. With 37 newcomers and 55 returnees, the event spotlights varied geographies, curated exhibitions, and commissions, fostering global art exploration and community engagement. This diverse cultural platform aligns with Abu Dhabi’s art ecosystem and extends to international realms, with galleries from Georgia, Mexico, Brazil, Singapore, and Chile. This year signifies a pivotal juncture in the fair’s evolution, witnessing exponential growth in participation.

Hunna Art is now representing Reem R.

Reem R.

Reem R is a Palestinian visual artist whose artworks draw inspiration from daily life, human interactions, personal encounters, and memories. Through vibrant colour schemes and composed pieces, she weaves her inner world with cultural allusions and personal symbols. Reem crafts visual enigmas that beckon viewers to unravel their meanings and craft their interpretations. Fusing historical traditions with contemporary ingenuity, Reem revitalizes the enduring still-life genre. Her artworks skillfully observe and dissect the surroundings, capturing their significance and symbolism. She holds a Bachelor’s in Multimedia Design from the American University of Sharjah and has exhibited globally, including Qatar, UAE, Croatia, France, Morocco, South Africa, and Spain.

Iwona Blazwick announced as curator of the 18th Istanbul Biennial

Iwona Blazwick curator of 18th Istanbul Biennial

UK curator Iwona Blazwick, former director of London’s Whitechapel Gallery, has been selected as the curator for the 18th Istanbul Biennial, slated for 2024. Presently engaged with Saudi Arabia’s cultural expansion in AlUla, Blazwick champions women artists and previously spearheaded exhibitions for Nan Goldin, Alice Neel, and others. The upcoming biennial’s theme and artist roster are pending. The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), the biennial’s umbrella entity, highlights its commitment to fostering direct cultural dialogue and discovering unconventional venues. Despite criticism of Turkey’s human rights record, the Istanbul Biennial continues as a platform for diverse artistic expression.


Tabari Artspace’s new Artist Residency at La Serena

La Serena X Tabari Art Space

Tabari Artspace has partnered with the recently renovated boutique hotel, La Serena, introducing an artist residency program and a dynamic gallery space. La Serena, a boutique hotel in the coastal town of Forte Dei Marmi, Italy, will feature work by renowned and emerging artists in its new gallery space. In collaboration with Tabari Artspace, La Serena’s residency program, invites artists, writers, and creatives to reside within its walls, connecting them to global audiences and inspiring the next generation through immersive experiences.

Riyadh Art announces open call for artists to participate in Tuwaiq Sculpture 2024

Energy of Water by Vasilisa Chugunova, Tuwaiq Sculpture 2023, Exhibition at Durrat AlRiyadh. Courtesy of Riyadh Art.

Riyadh Art has announced the open call for the 5th edition of Tuwaiq Sculpture, an annual symposium uniting local and international artists to create public artworks integrated into Riyadh’s urban landscape. The event features sculpting in real-time, along with talks, workshops, and educational activities involving diverse communities. Tuwaiq Sculpture has engaged over 90 renowned sculptors and aims to display over 1,000 artworks across Riyadh, aligning with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 for sustainability and quality of life. The upcoming theme ‘Dimensions of Movement’ encourages artists to capture progress and expansion, symbolizing Riyadh’s transformative spirit and pursuit of innovation. Artists with five years of experience can submit proposals using Saudi-sourced granite. Selected artists will receive an artist fee and support for accommodation and travel. The sculptures will be permanently exhibited in Riyadh after completion.

Centre Pompidou Signs Deal with Saudi Arabia to Develop a Museum in AlUla

Elephant rock in the desert near Al Ula the oasis. Photo Getty Images

Saudi Arabia’s cultural oasis, AlUla, is set to host a prominent addition – a museum for contemporary art. Laurent Le Bon, President of Paris’ Centre Pompidou, recently signed a pact with the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) for this project, scheduled to open in 2028–29. The collaboration encompasses professional training for Saudi museum staff, reciprocal artwork loans, and shared expertise. Focusing on Southwest, North, and South Asian art, the museum will spotlight diverse mediums, including land art and digital innovation. This venture aligns with Pompidou’s global outreach, as Saudi Arabia advances its cultural renaissance with visionary initiatives.

Randa Mirza’s ‘Beirutopia’ winner of the Photo Folio Review 2023

Randa Mirza, The Selective Residence. 80cm x 110cm. Edition of 3 + 1AP

For over 15 years, Photo Folio Review has been offering portfolio assessments. International experts provide constructive feedback and valuable advice through individual exchanges. Among 340 projects, Randa Mirza’s “Beirutopia” was chosen as the winner of the Photo Folio Review 2023. Her work will be featured in a solo presentation at Les Rencontres d’Arles in 2024. “Beirutopia” explores the urban future of Beirut, questioning its representations, characteristics, and the merging of reality and virtuality in the city’s transformation. Through the use of scale, layering, and image framing, the photographs offer a unique perspective on the city’s ongoing evolution, serving as spaces of resistance and redefining the potential for new forms of identification within the architectural fabric of Beirut.

Larissa Sansour’s short film ‘in Vitro’ acquired by the Tate Modern

In Vitro, Larissa Sansour & Søren Lind, 2019, Photo: © Tate, London 2023

In Vitro (2019), Larissa Sansour’s short film has been acquired by the Tate Modern. The 2-channel Arabic-language sci-fi film shot in black and white, was commissioned by the Danish Arts Foundation for the 58th Venice Biennale. Co-directed by Søren Lind, the film unfolds in the aftermath of an ecological catastrophe, where an abandoned nuclear reactor beneath the biblical town of Bethlehem has been transformed into a vast orchard. In this post-apocalyptic setting, a team of scientists diligently works to replant the soil above using heirloom seeds collected just before the disaster struck. Larissa Sansour is a Palestinian artist known for her thought-provoking and visually compelling works that explore themes of identity, politics, and displacement. Her multimedia art often blurs the lines between reality and fiction, offering a unique perspective on contemporary issues in the Middle East.

Tashkeel launches Makerspace for artists

Tashkeel Markerspace

Tashkeel Makerspace, located in Alserkal Avenue’s Warehouse 89, will cater to the demand of established and emerging creators for high-specification equipment and diverse materials. From paper to acrylic, artists and designers can experiment and create different types of artworks in the UAE. The commercial services menu includes laser-cutting, giclée and sublimation digital printing, and eco-friendly RISO printing. Tashkeel’s deputy director, Lisa Ball-Lechgar, highlights the need for creative spaces to foster innovation. Members gain access to various facilities and preferential rates for printing and cutting services, while the public can partake in workshops and book printing services. Tashkeel Makerspace nurtures UAE’s continual creative evolution.



July 2023

Mounira El Solh representing Lebanon at the 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia

Photo Mounira Al Solh by Jens Schwarz, Beirut – Lebanon. © Sfeir-Semler Gallery Beirut & Hamburg. ©LVAA

The artist Mounira Al Solh will be representing Lebanon for this year’s 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia taking place from April 20th to November 24th, 2024. Al Solh’s selection by the Experts’ Committee is due to her ability to address poignant themes of migration, war, and trauma using various artistic mediums with humour and a poetic approach. El Solh creates immersive and socially engaging worlds, combining diverse materials, forms, and gestures. The pavilion, produced by the Lebanese Visual Art Association (LVAA), will be located in the historic Arsenal. Al Solh, born in Beirut in 1978, is a multi-disciplinary visual artist based in Beirut and Amsterdam, represented by Sfeir-Semler Gallery in Hamburg and Beirut. She has had solo and group exhibitions worldwide and has received prestigious awards for her art, showcasing her significant impact on the art world.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi appoints Dr. Guilhem André as Acting Director for Scientific, Curatorial and Collections Management

Dr. Guilhem André, Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi

Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Arab World’s first universal museum, has appointed Dr. Guilhem André as Acting Director for Scientific, Curatorial, and Collections Management. Formerly the museum’s Chief Curator, Dr. André will now lead the curatorial strategy, narrative development, collection curation, and exhibition programming while managing the curatorial team. With a background as an expert archaeologist and art historian, he joined the Louvre Abu Dhabi in 2018, focusing on the development and curation of the museum’s permanent collection. Dr. André’s experience includes key roles in developing the museum’s narrative and overseeing Asian arts. He will be supported by a dynamic team of Emirati and international museum professionals.


Rania Matar shortlisted candidate for the Leica Oskar Barnack Awards

Rania Matar artwork

Rania Matar has been shortlisted for the prestigious Leica Oskar Barnack Awards (LOBA). Lebanon, still grappling with the aftermath of a civil war that commenced fifty years ago, has endured brutal clashes, corrupt governance, and prolonged Covid lockdowns. The devastating explosions in Beirut’s Port in 2020 further deepened the country’s struggles. Born in Lebanon in 1964 and now an American photographer, Matar dedicates her series, titled ‘Fifty Years Later’, to the women of the nation. Through her images, she captures their presence, creativity, strength, dignity, and resilience, symbolizing the collective hopes, dreams, and fears of an entire generation.


Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim selected as Abu Dhabi Art’s visual campaign artist

Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim

Abu Dhabi Art collaborates annually with artists for its visual campaign, defining the fair’s identity. The 2023 campaign features images from artist Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim’s projects, reflecting ancient cave-like inscriptions, lines, and abstract forms, conveying a sense of time and memory through meditative repetition. As an Emirati artist from the late 1980s avant-garde scene, Ibrahim draws inspiration from his birthplace, Khorfakkan, surrounded by the Gulf of Oman and the Hajar Mountains. His works, including hand-made objects resembling primitive tools, reveal his unique language reminiscent of ancient cave drawings.

VOLTA introduces new artistic director Lee Cavaliere

Lee Cavaliere, Artistic Director at Volta, Image credit: Oscar May

Starting in July 2023, curator and contemporary art specialist Lee Cavaliere will take the helm of VOLTA art fairs, leading with a clear vision to align the fair’s positioning with the rapidly evolving art market. With a wealth of experience in the institutional and gallery sectors, Cavaliere has curated exhibitions at esteemed venues such as the Tate and London Art Fair, showcasing his expertise in contemporary art. He has also spearheaded independent curatorial initiatives, including notable presentations featuring renowned artists like Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, and Andy Warhol. Additionally, Cavaliere is involved in philanthropic endeavours, directing the world’s first online art museum, VOMA, and contributing to charitable projects globally. With a focus on promoting new artistic perspectives and facilitating access for galleries and collectors, Cavaliere is dedicated to the continued growth and discovery within the art world.


Manal AlDowayan presented “From Shattered Ruins” at the Guggenheim Museum

Middle Eastern Circle Presents: Manal AlDowayan: From Shattered Ruins, New Life Shall Bloom, May 22, 2023, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Photo: Midge Wattles © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.

Artist Manal AlDowayan presented “From Shattered Ruins, New Life Shall Bloom” at the Guggenheim Museum, a one-night installation. The site-specific artwork consisted of porcelain scrolls placed on fabric totems in the museum’s rotunda. The scrolls feature texts and images sourced from various outlets, including the museum’s archives, supermarket magazines, social media, and Saudi Arabian publications, illustrating narratives that perpetuate the oppression of women and girls.

Visitors were invited to explore the installation by navigating through the network of totems, symbolizing the constant negotiation of women’s bodies in public spaces. After examining the texts and images, the audience selects a porcelain scroll, crushes it, and leaves the fragments on the totem. This participatory act muddled and destroyed the scrolls and their messages, serving as a protest against a history of control and empowering women with agency.

‘Etoile Filante’ by Fahr El-Nissa Zeid achieves €229,000 at Bonhams in Paris

Fahr El-Nissa Zeid (Turkey, 1900-1991) Etoile Filante (Falling Star)

The art sale event “Le Paris du Monde Arabe” at Bonhams Cornette de Saint Cyr in Paris featured artworks by artists from Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, Morocco, Algeria, and Syria. The sale achieved significant success with 65% of the lots sold by number (99% by value). The top-selling piece was “Etoile Filante (Falling Star)” by Fahr El-Nissa Zeid from Turkey, which fetched €229,000, surpassing its pre-sale estimate of €50,000-70,000.

Fahr El-Nissa Zeid’s painting from the early 1960s is highly regarded as her most mature body of work. Known for her diverse artistic repertoire, Zeid moved between abstraction, expressionism, portraiture, and landscape painting. Her monumental abstract pieces, influenced by Islamic geometric elements and European abstract styles, are considered the pinnacle of her artistic synthesis. Fahr El-Nissa Zeid was one of the first women to attend the Fine Arts Academy in Istanbul and further trained at Academi Ranson in Paris under Roger Bissiere. After marrying into the Jordanian Hashemite Royal family and participating in international solo exhibitions, she settled in Amman in 1976 following her husband’s passing.

Iraqi Artist Rand Abdul Jabbar is now represented by the Lawrie Shabibi Gallery

Rand Abdul Jabbar, Lawrie Shabibi Gallery

Lawrie Shabibi is excited to announce that artist Rand Abdul Jabbar (born in 1990 in Baghdad) is now represented by the gallery. In 2022, Abdul Jabbar received the prestigious Richard Mille Art Prize from Louvre Abu Dhabi. She holds a Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University, where she was honoured with the William Kinne Fellows Traveling Prize in 2014. Abdul Jabbar’s artistic practice revolves around the exploration of history’s remnants and transitory elements, creating reconstructions of accumulated past events intertwined with personal experiences. While grappling with displacement, she investigates her connection to place and landscape, challenging individual and collective memory. Through in-depth research in archives and museum collections, she engages with archaeology, mythology, and material culture. Her work encompasses sculpture, writing, video, and installation, facilitating an experiential dialogue between recollection and re-imagination. By inventing anchors, she enables the retelling and adaptation of the past as a means of reclaiming agency and affirming identity.

Iranian artist Nairy Baghramian receives the 2023 Nivola Award for Sculpture

Nairy Baghramian, photograph by Christian Werner

The Nivola Foundation has announced Iranian artist Nairy Baghramian as the recipient of the 2023 Nivola Award for Sculpture. The award, previously bestowed upon artists such as Eduardo Chillida and Cy Twombly, honours those who embody the spirit of Costantino Nivola, a prominent figure in 20th-century art. Baghramian’s sculptural works skillfully explore the boundaries of space, form, and material, prompting contemplation on human relationships and social structures. The award ceremony will take place at the Nivola Museum on 16th September 2023, followed by an exhibition curated by Giuliana Altea, Antonella Camarda, and Luca Cheri in the summer of 2024. Additionally, a workshop for young artists will provide an opportunity for dialogue and exchange. Baghramian has expressed her connection to Nivola’s work and the democratic potential of art, while Giuliana Altea, President of the Nivola Foundation, has praised Baghramian’s ability to challenge and reflect the complexity of the contemporary world. Mayor Marco Ziranu has emphasized the role of art and culture in shaping a better future.


June 2023

Rahma Lhoussig exhibited at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Lisbon

Rahma Lhoussig, Untitled, 2023, 40 x 52 cm, Mixed media on paper

Rahma Lhoussig is currently part of an exhibition at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Lisbon, alongside renowned Moroccan artists like Gharbaoui, Cherkaoui, and representatives of the Casablanca School. The exhibition, titled “Bleu et autres couleurs. Un voyage dans l’Histoire de l’Art du Maroc” (Blue and other colours. A journey through the history of Moroccan art), runs from June 26 to September 24. Curated by teams from the Mohammed VI Museum, it showcases around sixty artworks that provide a comprehensive overview of Moroccan art, spanning from pioneering abstraction to the latest generation of artists like Ghizlane Agzenaï and Rahma Lhoussig. Lhoussig’s works feature a dreamlike protagonist against pastel backgrounds, inviting viewers to explore her imaginative world.

Unveiling the Masterpiece “Les Marchands De Peaux” by Mohamed Naghi at Christie’s Paris for the first time

Mohamad Naghi, Les Marchants de Peaux, at Christie’s Paris

Culturvator/Art D’Egypte is hosting a private viewing of Mohamed Naghi’s masterpiece, ‘Les Marchands De Peaux’, at Christie’s Paris. The event aims to showcase the Renaissance of Egyptian art and heritage, spearheaded by Mohamed and Effat Naghi. ‘Les Marchands De Peaux’, a rare piece by the artist, will be displayed outside the family estate for the first time. The painting represents a rare phase of the artist’s work while he was in Ethiopia and a close friend of Emperor Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia. The private viewing and auction seek to promote Egyptian art, preserve cultural heritage, and strengthen cultural ties between Egypt and France. A portion of these proceeds will go to benefit a monograph for the estate.

Hunna Art announces the representation of artist Aliyah Alawadhi

Aliyah Alawadhi, Portrait by Mariam Alkatheeri.

Hunna Art is excited to announce its representation of Aliyah Alawadhi, a UAE-based artist, writer, and curator. Alawadhi’s works explore the complexities of growing up in an ever-changing cultural and industrial environment. Her art delves into themes such as nostalgia, gender, mysticism, globalization, and internet culture. Alawadhi’s artistic world is vast and surreal, characterized by glitches, pastel colours, and references to Khaleeji culture and art history. Through her hyper-feminized characters, she juxtaposes mundane and surreal actions to capture the intricacies of her childhood and early adulthood in the United Arab Emirates. Alawadhi belongs to a generation that seamlessly merges the material and digital realms, actively engaging in online communities and using the internet as an escape and creative outlet.

The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi Announces Second Cohort for Numoo: Artist Development Initiative for UAE-Based Creatives

The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi has launched Numoo, an artist development initiative supported by a grant from the U.S. Mission to the UAE. The program aims to nurture performing artists in the UAE and contribute to the nation’s arts ecosystem. The three-week intensive program, running from June to September 2023, focuses on professional skill development and aligns with the goals set by the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth. The selected artists from diverse backgrounds will receive guidance from professionals, engage in public performances, and attend workshops. Numoo aims to build a sustainable artistic community in the UAE and promote global cultural partnerships.

The National Museum of Qatar has opened the Digital Youth Center in collaboration with Microsoft.

Microsoft AI

The National Museum of Qatar has opened the Digital Youth Center in collaboration with Microsoft. The center aims to provide students and youth with a space to develop digital skills and adopt new ways of thinking and learning. Prior to its opening, the center has already offered virtual courses on various subjects such as programming skills through Minecraft, 3D drawing, cybersecurity, and more. The partnership between the museum and Microsoft reflects their commitment to innovative engagement and the exploration of new learning methods. The Digital Center for Youth is accompanied by the NMoQ Explorer platform, offering interactive experiences and encouraging public participation with museum activities. The museum is also organizing free creative workshops and field trips throughout the summer to enhance children’s skills in coding, cybersecurity, design and engineering, filmmaking, and 3D design.

Bonhams Cornette de Saint Cyr Hosts Inaugural Art de la Chine Sale in Paris

Bodhisattva, Jin dynasty (1115-1234), Sold for €2,589,400

Bonhams Cornette de Saint Cyr recently organized its first-ever Art de la Chine sale in Paris, curated by Caroline Schulten, the esteemed Head of Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Department in Paris. As part of the Asian week in Paris, the auction achieved an impressive total of €5.2 million. The standout item was an extraordinary and exceptionally rare large wood figure of Bodhisattva Guanyin, crafted during the Jin dynasty (1215-1234). Previously owned by Paul Houo-Ming-Tse (1880-1949), this remarkable piece fetched a staggering €2,589,400, three times its estimated value. Having been part of a French family collection since its initial sale in 1932, this monumental figure echoes the grandeur of the bodhisattva from the Rousset Collection, which was sold by Bonhams Cornette de Saint Cyr in Paris last October.

Art Dubai 2024 announcement

Art Dubai 2023

Art Dubai’s 17th edition is set to take place from 1 to 3 March 2024 at Madinat Jumeirah, with preview days on 28 and 29 February. The fair aims to push the boundaries of contemporary art and re

define art-historical concepts through collaboration with independent curators. Art from the Global South, an underrepresented geographical area, is at the core of Art Dubai’s focus, reflecting the rapidly changing city of Dubai. The upcoming edition will feature curated sections, including Bawwaba, focusing on solo exhibitions by artists exploring healing; Art Dubai Modern, exploring cultural dynamics of the expanded Global South; and Art Dubai Digital, showcasing new tendencies in digital arts. These sections, alongside Art Dubai Contemporary, will provide visitors with fresh perspectives on past, present, and future artistic production.

The Ithra Art Prise 5th edition has been awarded to Adel Abidin

Photo Credit: STUDIO Adel Abidin

The Ithra Art Prise 5th edition has been awarded to Adel Abidin, an artist of Iraqi-Finnish origin residing in Helsinki. Abidin’s winning artwork, titled “ON عن,” delves into the intricate connections between history, memory, and identity. As he explores the intangible aspects of history, Abidin grapples with the scarcity of reliable archival sources, which becomes particularly pronounced when examining Arab history. This scarcity allows for various interpretations and embellishments, creating a complex landscape. During his study of the Zanj rebellion in Iraq, Abidin discovers a captivating exemplification of this complexity. Through his wall installation, he sheds light on the fragility of history and the organic nature of memory, offering a distinct and compelling glimpse into the remnants of this ancient event.

NYU Abu Dhabi’s 2023 Master of Fine Arts Graduate Show Now Open at 421

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, Installation view, Art Dubai 2023, until 5 March, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Spark Media for Art Dubai) 29

SYNTHESIS, the exhibition presented by NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), showcases the work of the University’s first cohort of Master of Fine Arts (MFA) students. The exhibition, held at 421, features 43 artworks by graduate students who have completed the two-year MFA in Art and Media program. The show, open to the public until August 25, offers a platform for these emerging artists to explore and present their research and experimental projects, providing valuable insights into contemporary global issues. The collaboration between NYUAD and 421 continues for the second year, highlighting the synergy between these institutions in supporting the production of innovative contemporary practices in the region. The MFA program at NYUAD is a two-year interdisciplinary studio art program that encourages artistic experimentation while integrating theoretical and historical study. SYNTHESIS celebrates the achievements of these artists and invites the wider community to engage with their work.


May 2023

Art Dubai’s direct impact on the economy

SYNTHESIS, 2023, MFA Graduate Show at 421

Art Dubai 2023 generated an impressive economic impact of AED143 million and attracted 23,500 hotel bookings, according to a recent study by market research consultancy IPSOS. The renowned art fair, held between March 1-5, solidified Dubai’s position as a major cultural centre and a hub for artistic and creative events. The economic impact surpassed previous data by over 55%, highlighting the city’s growth as a global destination. Under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the 2023 edition featured over 130 exhibitors from 40 countries and saw strong participation from regional and international institutions. Hala Badri, Director General of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority emphasized Dubai’s cultural vision and its role as a global centre for culture and creativity. Benedetta Ghione, Executive Director of Art Dubai, highlighted the city’s growth as a cultural capital and expressed excitement for the upcoming 2024 edition. Art Dubai has become a premier platform for art from the Global South, attracting collectors and institutions from around the world. The fair is held in partnership with A.R.M. Holding, sponsored by Julius Baer, and supported by HUNA and Dubai Culture.

Lawrie Shabibi announces the representation of artist Dima Srouji

Dima Srouji Portrait

Lawrie Shabibi gallery announces its representation of Dima Srouji, a Palestinian artist, architect, and researcher. Srouji’s multidisciplinary practice explores themes of displacement, cultural heritage, public space, and identity in the context of the Middle East, with a particular focus on Palestine. Through mediums such as glass, text, archival materials, and film, Srouji creates thought-provoking works that challenge conventional notions of space and delve into the intersections of history, identity, and globalization. Her projects often involve collaborations with experts from various fields, including archaeologists, anthropologists, and sound designers. Srouji has exhibited internationally and her work is included in renowned institutions such as the Corning Museum of Glass and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Currently, her works can be seen at the first Islamic Arts Biennale in Jeddah and the Sharjah Art Biennial. Srouji holds a degree from the Yale School of Architecture and leads the MA City Design studios at the Royal College of Art. She divides her time between Ramallah and London.

Sotheby’s Geneva Beats World Record for Any Rolex Daytona ‘John Player Special’

Sotheby’s Geneva made history by setting a new world record in the Rolex Daytona’s legendary history. The JPS model, reference 6241, was auctioned off for CHF 2,238,000, nearly twice its estimated value. The bidding battle involved six bidders, including online participants, telephone bidders, and attendees in the room, lasting over eight minutes. This watch now holds the world record for any Daytona JPS model and ranks among the most valuable Daytona ‘Paul Newman’ watches ever sold at auction. The rarity of this particular watch is emphasized, with only a small fraction of the 3000 reference 6241 watches being fitted with the coveted John Player Special dial. The watch, untouched for the last five decades, was offered for the first time by the family of the original owner.

Lot 119, Rolex Daytona ‘John Player Special’, Reference 6241, A yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with bracelet, Circa 1969, Lot Sold 2,238,000 CHF

The Important Watches Sale, part of Sotheby’s Luxury Week, offers carefully curated watches of exceptional quality. This sale also includes other luxury categories such as Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels, Handbags and Accessories, and even a bespoke gold bike by Colnago. The John Player Special Daytona is renowned for its unique dial variation, inspired by the British tobacco-sponsored Team Lotus Formula One car of the 1970s. This watch captures the spirit of Daytona and is highly sought after by collectors. Its black dial and gilt subsidiary dials and outer rim pay homage to the iconic racing car’s aesthetics.



Art Basel appoints Maike Cruse Director of its show in Basel

Maike Cruse. Photo: Gene Glover

Art Basel has announced the appointment of Maike Cruse as the new Director for Art Basel in Basel, effective from July 2023. In her new role, Cruse will lead Art Basel’s premier Swiss edition, overseeing the team in Basel and working closely with the fair’s network of galleries, collectors, and artists, as well as nurturing close relationships with the city’s leading museums, institutions, and cultural partners. Cruse brings extensive art fair experience, having previously led art berlin contemporary and subsequently art berlin, and is returning to Art Basel, having served as Communications Manager from 2008 to 2011. Noah Horowitz, CEO, Art Basel, said Cruse’s entrepreneurial mindset and commitment to contemporary art make her uniquely equipped to lead the flagship show in the home city and steer its future direction.

NYU Abu Dhabi Announces Winners of The Christo and JeanneClaude Award 2023

Christo Award Winners

The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award 2023 winners have been announced. The award, which was established to support young artists in the UAE, encourages emerging artists to create artworks that address contemporary issues. The winning team is made up of three artists: Vivi Zhu, Hala El Abora, and Majd Alloush. Their submission, titled Shaheeq, takes inspiration from the mangrove trees in the UAE and aims to encourage viewers to acknowledge and maintain solutions already present in the environment. The installation pays tribute to the UAE’s mangrove ecosystems while also encouraging an appreciation for the natural solutions they offer in the face of climate change. The artists have been awarded USD 10,000 to complete their installation with guidance from experts including the award’s director, Emily Doherty, the NYUAD Art Gallery team, NYUAD’s faculty, and the award team at ADMAF. The artists now have an eight-month production period, supported by Dale Hudson, a film and new media professor, to realise their work.




April 2023

The Art for Change Prize 2023

The Art for Change prize 2023

M&C Saatchi Group and London’s Saatchi Gallery have announced the second edition of their annual Art for Change Prize. The free-to-enter initiative aims to make art accessible to everyone and celebrates emerging artistic talent while highlighting visual arts as a medium for positive global and social change. This year’s theme is ‘Regeneration’, and emerging artists worldwide are invited to creatively respond to it. The judges will select six regional winners, with one overall winner receiving £10,000 and the remaining five receiving £2,000 each. All winning works will be exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery.

Louvre Abu Dhabi launches Arabic podcast series titled “Adventures at the Museum”

©Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu-Dhabi

Louvre Abu Dhabi launches a unique Arabic podcast series titled “Adventures at the Museum” for children aged 6 to 10. The podcast, inspired by artworks on display at the museum, features fictional stories written by renowned Emirati authors and is designed to enhance children’s creative thinking skills through storytelling. The series has been recorded by professional voice-over actors with sound effects and music to make it engaging for children. Louvre Abu Dhabi organized listening activities with Al Jeel Kindergarten and International Community Schools in Abu Dhabi to connect with a new generation of art lovers. The podcast is available on Louvre Abu Dhabi’s website and all major podcast platforms.


Madinat Jumeirah Partners With Leila Heller Gallery

2020, Matte and polished bronze figure; Stainless steel and black marble base, 93 x 79 x 40 cm, Edition of 8 plus 3 Artist’s Proofs

The partnership with Leila Heller Gallery and Madinat Jumeirah is a long-term commitment to supporting the arts and creating exceptional experiences for guests. Peter Roth, the Regional Vice President of Madinat Jumeirah and General Manager of Jumeirah Al Qasr, believes art has a powerful impact on people’s lives and is thrilled to partner with Quinn. Quinn’s work explores themes of love, family, and relationships through traditional techniques and modern materials. His art resonates with people worldwide, and he recently received a Guinness World Record for the largest sustainable sculpture. Quinn is grateful for the opportunity to showcase his art and create an elevated environment for guests that awakens a sense of wonder, awe, and inspiration. The display is a reminder of home, even when away, and reconnects guests with their personal stories and sense of belonging. Renowned artist Lorenzo Quinn’s sculptures are now on display at the Al Fayrooz Lounge in Jumeirah Al Qasr, as well as other locations within Madinat Jumeirah such as Jumeirah Al Naseem and Jumeirah Mina A’Salam.

Hunna Art representing Amna AlBaker

Amna AlBaker portrait.

Hunna Art has announced that it is now representing Qatari multidisciplinary artist Amna AlBaker. Her work is centered around themes of identity and womanhood, specifically the unseen experiences of being a woman in her place and time. She creates parallels between the natural world and the female experience, aiming to materialize the internal wilderness navigated by women, particularly in the Arab world. Amna’s experimental practice involves letting the medium choose her, and she collects objects, photographs, and writing to build her ideas on. Self-discovery is a core element of her practice.



Win, Victory, Love

Win, Victory, Love flyer

Dubai-based digital art curatorship, MORROW collective, has released a generative art project celebrating the UAE’s iconic three-fingered salute – Win, Victory, Love. The artwork was created by using the original work of four Emirati artists to create up to 200 algorithmically-generated unique pieces of art. The pieces were then turned into NFTs with randomly selected elements from the artists’ work. The project was inaugurated at Art Dubai 2023 and aimed to celebrate the UAE and introduce more Emirati artists into the NFT art space. MORROW collective is committed to bringing more artists into the space and introducing collectors to new ways of acquiring and displaying art.

March 2023

Sharjah Biennial recorded sessions of the March Meeting out now!

The March Meeting of Sharjah Biennial

Recorded sessions of the March Meeting 2023, titled “The Postcolonial Constellation: Art, Culture, Politics after 1960” are now available online. The meeting was the 15th edition of the annual event and took place from 9 to 12 March at the Africa Hall in Sharjah. Over 40 speakers participated in talks and panel discussions about the forces that have shaped the production and reception of art across the world from 1960 to the present. The event focused on exploring critical issues related to the overarching theme of the Sharjah Biennial 15, which is “thinking historically in the present.” If you missed the event or want to revisit the discussions, you can watch the recorded sessions by clicking on the provided link.

URBAN Photo Arena, flyer

URBAN Photo Arena Early Bird Offer

As a reminder to all photographers who are under 35 years old, the Early Bird offer for the URBAN Photo Arena category is still valid until the end of the month. It is an excellent opportunity to showcase your work on an international platform and get recognized for your talent. Moreover, the competition offers a chance to upload one free photo in the single pictures section for categories like STREETS, PEOPLE, SPACES, and CREATIVE. This is a great opportunity for young photographers to participate and showcase their work.

Mazen Khaddaj Joins Emergeast

The Lollypop, Mazen Khaddaj. Mixed media on canvas, 80x60cm, Original, 2022

Emergeast announces the addition of Mazen Khaddaj, a multidisciplinary artist from Lebanon, to their family. In a recent interview with Mazen, he shared insights into his latest works that explore the manifestation of human thought and interaction through a dynamic interplay between textures and color, transparency and flatness.





The Biggest Art Exhibition at The Pyramids in October 2023

Art D’Égypte launched its second edition of Forever Is Now on October 27, 2022, at the Great Pyramids of Giza and its surrounding Plateau. The exhibition aims to explore the themes of time and timelessness, land and history, ecology and humanity, by placing contemporary artworks in the magnificent site of the pyramids. The exhibition aims to offer an immersive experience of public art, showcasing a future that is rooted in a deep understanding of the past. It emphasizes the importance of history in shaping the future and highlights the idea that there is no time without the present.

The exhibition took place in the 4500-year-old UNESCO World Heritage site of the Pyramids of Giza and the adjacent plateau. Through the contrast of contemporary art practices and cherished cultural history, the exhibition traces the continuity of ideas from the legendary past to the vibrant present. The exhibition aims to inspire visitors for humanity’s future by showcasing the interconnectedness of history and the present.

AlUla Design Award is back 

The AlUla Design Award has returned for its second edition after a successful debut. The competition seeks to recognise outstanding designs inspired by the heritage, landscapes, and artistic legacies of AlUla. Established and emerging designers are invited to submit their concepts for retail items in categories such as jewellery, footwear, clothing, home accessories, and leather goods, among others. The submission deadline is April 12, 2023. A jury of design leaders will evaluate the submissions, with shortlisted designers moving on to a prototyping round. Winners will be commissioned and promoted within AlUla’s network of influential regional and international activities. The shortlisted designers will also have the opportunity to showcase their prototypes at an exhibition during Paris Design Week in September 2023. The first edition of the AlUla Design Award drew over 700 applicants, with six winners ultimately selected.

The Aga Khan Award for Architecture Nominations in 2022

Flyer for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2022

The Aga Khan Award for Architecture is a prestigious prize that is awarded every three years to architectural projects that display excellence in design, sustainability, and social impact. Día Azzawi and Mahmoud Obaidi were both nominated for the award in 2022. Día Azzawi is an Iraqi artist who was nominated for the award for his “Woven Waves” project, which consists of a series of sculptural works made from recycled materials. The project was displayed in the “Baghdad Design Centre,” which Azzawi established to promote art and design in Iraq. Mahmoud Obaidi is an Iraqi architect who was nominated for the award for his “BeMA: Beirut Museum of Art” project. The museum is a contemporary cultural center that aims to foster cultural exchange and promote the arts in Lebanon. The project was completed in collaboration with the Beirut Municipality and the Lebanese Ministry of Culture.


Rand Abdul Jabbar Announced as Winner of 2022 Richard Mille Art Prize at Louvre Abu Dhabi

(left-to-right): Morad Montazami, Hala Wardé, Peter Harrison, Rand Abdul Jabbar, Dr. Souraya Noujaim, HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan and Manuel Rabaté.

Rand Abdul Jabbar has won the second edition of the Richard Mille Art Prize at the Louvre Abu Dhabi. The award was presented to the Iraqi artist at a ceremony held at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, where she showcased her work “Earthly Wonders, Celestial Beings”. Abdul Jabbar reconstructs and borrows ephemera of place, history, and memory, using design, sculpture, and installation as primary mediums of operation. Her work has been displayed at the Abu Dhabi Art, the Rabat Biennale, the Biennale d’Architecture d’Orléans, and the Shubbak Festival in the UK. Abdul Jabbar was selected by a five-member jury comprising HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Chairman of UAE Unlimited, art collector and patron of the Centre Pompidou, British Museum and Sharjah Art Foundation, among others. For the second edition of the Richard Mille Art Prize, Louvre Abu Dhabi invited artists to propose new or existing artworks that engage with the notions of “icon” and “iconic”. The artworks explored how the concept of the icon resonates within contemporary art practices and how it informs new artistic perspectives.


A new ambitious edition during the European Heritage Days, 15-17 September 2023.

La salle hypostyle inondée de lumière grâce à ses nombreuses et très larges baies vitrées, ©CESE BenoitFougeirol ©Palais d’Iéna.Auguste Perret.UFSE.SAIF.

The 4th edition of Menart Fair, showcasing art from the Middle East and North Africa, will take place from September 15th to 17th at the Palais d’Iéna in Paris. The historic monument is the headquarters of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council and is home to numerous artistic creations. The fair will feature around thirty ART + DESIGN galleries, exhibiting the latest creations from the MENA region, as well as monumental sculptures and artistic installations in partnership with foundations and institutions. The event coincides with the European Heritage Days, providing an opportunity for visitors to explore the 3rd assembly of the Republic and other nearby cultural institutions, including the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris and the Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine. Menart Fair promises to be a unique and captivating journey into the Orient, offering visitors encounters with leading galleries, strong works, and a range of colors, poetry, spices, fragrances, and smells.


The Taoyuan International Art Award finalists 

Fifteen finalists selected for the 2023 Taoyuan International Art Award

The Taoyuan International Art Award has announced its 15 finalists, including artists from various countries such as the USA, Hong Kong, Peru, Brazil, China, Syria, France, Argentina, and Taiwan. The artworks selected cover various mediums including painting, sculpture, photography, installation, video, and new media, reflecting the diversity of contemporary art. The final stage of the award will include an exhibition where the Grand Prize winner will receive NT$600,000 and three Honorable Mention winners will receive NT$200,000 each. TMoFA will cover exhibition and travel costs for the 15 artists, and a Sojourn Award of NT$250,000 will be given to a Taiwanese artist for international travel to promote new artistic creations. The jury was led by Chun-Lan Liu and included Christine Macel and Cosmin Costinas.

The Horst Expo program of 2023

Horst Expo 2023, titled “Where the Wild Things Are,” will feature site-specific commissions that explore the future potential of the Asiat terrain. The exhibition will showcase artists working closely with Horst to develop conceptual and functional interventions for the site. Notably, Emirati artist Farah Al Qasimi, Lebanese artist Joe Namy, and Brussels-based Angolan-Zambian artist Maria Muehombo (M I M I) will be contributing to the exhibition. Other artists, such as French artist Marc Leschelier and Moroccan artist Meriem Bennani, will also be featured in the show.

Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library Announces UAE Reading Month Activities


The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library is holding a range of events, including workshops, discussion panels, and book signings, to promote knowledge and creativity during the UAE Reading Month in March. Activities include character-building techniques in novels and stories, discussions with writers, poetry events, and storytelling sessions for children and families.




Hicham Gardaf. Senza titolo Laaroussi Untitled Laaroussi, 2022_LR

MAST Photography Grant on Industry and Work’s 7th edition winner 

Hicham Gardaf is the winner of this year’s “MAST Photography Grant on Industry and Work” exhibition, which showcases the perspectives of industry and work through photography. Hailing from Tangier, Morocco, Gardaf’s winning work titled “After the Bees” explores the ecological impact of industrial farming on bees, highlighting the importance of preserving nature and the environment. His work is both thought-provoking and visually captivating, providing a unique perspective on the subject matter. As the winner of the grant, Gardaf receives support to further his artistic practice and showcase his work on an international platform.

Sotheby’s to host a series of talks at Islamic Arts Biennale in Jeddah

Sotheby’s, a renowned auction house based in Britain, will conduct a range of discussions during the first-ever Islamic Arts Biennale organized by the Diriyah Biennale Foundation in Jeddah from March 4-13. The talks will cover a broad range of topics, including the diverse impact of Islamic art on contemporary jewelry-making, as well as the most notable trends in contemporary Arab art.




February 2023

The Face of the City
Saudi artist Mohammed Al-Faraj poses in front of the ‘Face of the City’ artwork in Hayy Jameel, Jeddah. (Supplied)

Hayy Jameel, a mixed-use creative complex in Jeddah developed by Art Jameel, has chosen Saudi artist Mohammed Al-Faraj to be one of the 80 artists who will create a 25-meter art installation. The installation, called “The Face of the City,” will be on display in front of the Hayy Jameel building for the rest of the year. The Hayy Jameel Facade Commission, which is part of the center’s annual program, provides the selected artist with an opportunity to create an artwork that will be exhibited for a year.




The world heritage site Hegra is now open to  visitors from the metaverse.

Saudi Arabia’s UNESCO World Heritage site, Hegra, has recently opened its doors to virtual visitors in the metaverse, offering desktop tourists the opportunity to explore the site’s ancient tombs, which are not accessible to physical visitors. This groundbreaking initiative was developed in collaboration with Decentraland, a virtual world where users can build and explore digital content.

Sharjah Biennial 15 Prize winners

Sharjah Art Foundation announced the recipients of the Sharjah Biennial 15 Prize in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Federal Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and Sheikha Hoor bint Sultan Al Qasimi, President and Director of Sharjah Art Foundation.

The recipients of this year’s prize are Bouchra Khalili, Doris Salcedo and Hajra Waheed. Honourable mentions were awarded to Lee Kai Chung, Tania El Khoury, Gabriela Golder, Amar Kanwar, Joiri Minaya, Varunika Saraf and Ibrahim Mahama. This year’s jurors were Elvira Dyangani Ose, Solange Farkas and Salwa Mikdadi.


CIF Earthquake Relief Fund

The Contemporary Istanbul Foundation have already organised two major shipments of essential supplies, focusing on the needs of women and children. Their aid has been delivered to the disaster areas through trusted sources. The warehouses and shipping sponsor in Istanbul and Adana are fully equipped to handle the donations. Your support and contributions can help ease the suffering of those affected by the disaster and heal the wounds caused by this tragedy. Non-profit organisations are doing their best to manage the aid and distribution, but their efforts will be needed for months to come. Link:



 NOMAD announces the first Sustainable Design Summit in the Engadine

NOMAD continues its long-standing commitment to sustainability in the global creative sphere during its next edition, launching the first chapter of an exciting new partnership with AD Italia. This winter, international creatives and actors from the design scene will participate in the first Sustainable Design Summit in the Engadine, organized on

NOMAD flyer sustainable design summit

the 25th of February at NOMAD’s newest location Grace La Margna St Moritz.

AD invited the 100 creatives from their famous annual classification and key people from the industry to participate in the Summit, one of the highlights of which will be a panel discussion with speakers invited to discuss their invaluable contribution to promoting a more sustainable vision for the future.


Tashkeel continues to Invest and Support Art and Design Professionals in the UAE:

The mission of the Tanween Design Programme is to nurture the ongoing evolution of UAE design by providing one year of fully funded training for a cohort of specially selected professional designers.   In 2023, the Tanween Design Programme enters its 10th edition. Having received 67 applications, 6 design practitioners were chosen: Wafa Al Falahi (UAE); Marwa Abdelrahim (Sudan); Maryam Elattar & Mohamed Elnaggar (Egypt); and Tia Sinclair-Kemp & Chinara Tashmatova (USA/Kazakhstan).


East Architecture Studio


EAST Architecture Studio is an award-winning collective practice, founded by architects Nicolas Fayad and Charles Kettaneh. The studio has gained international recognition through a number of impressive design accolades for developments in Africa and the Middle East. The rehabilitation of the Guest House, located on the outskirts of Tripoli is part of the Rachid Karami International Fair (RKIF), the unfinished masterpiece of the architect Oscar Niemeyer. The award-winning project was particularly commended for its social relevance in the context of Tripoli, as well as its sensitive renovation approach and its timelessness, and sets a relevant benchmark for the renovation of modernist heritage buildings in the region.


Inloco Gallery appoints Anastasia Kopijevski as Managing Director

Photo of Anastasia Kopijevski


Inloco Gallery – a newly launched street art gallery pop-up in Dubai, has appointed Anastasia Kopijevski as its Managing Director in February 2023 to guide its launch and oversee its growth development. Anastasia is a seasoned art curator and consultant with experience in organising and managing both local and international art exhibitions. She will lead the gallery’s business and operations strategy alongside continuing work at her boutique art consultancy – Skaya Art Agency.

“I’m excited to lead Inloco Gallery and hope our work will inspire the next generation of street artists in the UAE. We have exciting exhibitions lined up for our launch and aim to push the boundaries of how street art is perceived with innovative ideas including curated outdoor projects. I look forward to settling into my new role and sharing Inloco’s unique concepts with our stakeholders,” said Anastasia Kopijevski, Managing Director of Inloco Gallery and Founder of Skaya Art Agency.



January 2023


MFAH will open six new galleries for Art of the Islamic Worlds

Rudaba’s Parents Converse about her Love for Zal, c.1520–1540, ink, opaque watercolor© Hossein Afshar Collection, MFAH

Building upon a historic, decade-long collaboration with the renowned al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait, which has brought hundreds of objects of Islamic art on extended loan to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Museum will mark the 10th anniversary of that initiative by opening new, permanent galleries for Art of the Islamic Worlds on March 5, 2023. These new galleries have been endowed by collector Hossein Afshar, and will present for the first time the full extent of MFAH holdings in Islamic art in the context of an extensive selection of Iranian masterworks on long-term loan from the Afshar Collection.
The suite of six galleries will double the space for Islamic art at the museum, and are part of an ongoing curatorial and philanthropic initiative to present art from historically Islamic lands on a permanent basis.



Historic Saudi Airlines Aircraft Lands at Jeddah Airport

Islamic Arts Biennale and Saudi Airline

In an extraordinary show of collaboration and unity, national airline Saudia, a principal partner of the Diriyah Biennale Foundation’s Islamic Arts Biennale, landed a historic Boeing 777-300ER aircraft featuring retro livery design, at the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, parked in direct proximity to the Biennale site, to celebrate the official opening of the world-first exhibition.

Islamic Arts Biennale and Saudi Airline

In the spirit of continued support of the Kingdom’s development, and inspired by the airline’s original visual identity, the retro 1970-1980 era design was painted in 2021 by Saudi nationals of the Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries (SAEI) to mark the airline’s 75th year anniversary. Its presence at the Western Hajj Terminal on the official opening of the world’s first Islamic Arts Biennale today, is symbolic of the airline’s commitment to the Kingdom’s continued development, this time through the arts.
The inaugural edition of the Islamic Arts Biennale runs from January 23rd to April 23rd, 2023 in Jeddah.



Save the Date: Contemporary Istanbul 2023

CI17 Venue, © Contemporary Istanbul

Contemporary Istanbul 2023 is getting ready to welcome visitors to the historical shipyard: Tersane Istanbul.
The 18th edition of the Contemporary Istanbul will take place from September 28 to October 1, with a preview on September 26-27 in the historical shipyard Tersane Istanbul.
Highlights for the fair’s 18th edition will include a range of expanded experiences, a strong selection of galleries, exciting collaborations with non-profits, the CIF Dialogues program, and a curated outdoor exhibition.



Manuel Borja-Villel leaves his charge as the director of Reina Sofia Museum

Manuel Borja-Villel, © Reina Sofia Museum

The director of the Reina Sofia Museum, Manuel Borja-Villel (1957, Burriana, Spain), leaves the institution after 15 years and announces that he will not present his candidacy to continue as the head of the museum, a decision he made some time ago. On February 1, a selection process will begin in order to choose a new director through an international competition.
Manuel Borja-Villel now begins his work as co-curator of the São Paulo Biennial, as his most immediate project.
From today, Mabel Tapia, deputy artistic director, and Julian Gonzalez Cid, deputy managing director, will provisionally take over the direction of the museum.



“Generations” on permanent show at Mathaf

Khaled Takreti, “Generations”, 2010, Acrylic on Canvas, 195 x 780 cm, © the artist and Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art

Generations (2010), artwork by Khaled Takreti, are now on show in the permanent collection at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Qatar. These works were acquired for “Told, Untold, Retold” exhibition curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath in 2010.



Forever is Now 02, Artwork, © Art D’Egypte

Forever is Now 02: An Overview
On the 27th of October, 2022, Art D’Égypte launched its second edition of Forever Is Now, at the Great Pyramids of Giza and its surrounding Plateau.
The second edition of Forever is Now reflects on time and timelessness, land and history, ecology and humanity, situating contemporary artworks in the magnificent site of the pyramids. Through an immersive experience of public art, the exhibition envisions a future that is anchored in a deep knowledge of the past, indicating that there is no conception of the future without history, and that there is no time without the present.


Art Dubai appointed as the first commissioning entity for Dubai Public Art

Aidah Boano, Prismontas and Ricardas Blazukas,, © Art Dubai

Art Dubai, the Middle East’s leading international art fair, has been appointed as the first commissioning entity for a new government initiative to manage and produce the inaugural landmark Dubai Public Art commission, installing art in a prominent public garden in the Al Hudaiba area in late 2023.
Applications close on 13 February. Shortlisted artists will be announced at Art Dubai on 1-5 March, and the winning landmark piece will be unveiled to the public in late 2023.


Reimagining Jeddah’s Western Hajj Terminal through Art

The Western Hajj Terminal at King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah is no ordinary airport terminal. The Islamic Arts Biennale re-imagines it’s pioneering structure as a cultural space.

Hajj Terminal, Site 2, © Islamic Arts Biennale

The Islamic Arts Biennale acts as a platform to mirror the very experience of Hajjis fromaround the world, by reflecting on the diversity of the Muslim experience through a constellation of 60+ artists from over 20 countries, whose work will complement around 200 loans of artefacts from local and international institutions. Themed Awwal Bait (“the First House”), the event interweaves commissioned works and never-exhibited-before historical artefacts that convey a holistic perspective of the Islamic arts, delivered through a unique sensorial experience aimed at heightening consciousness, and inspiring pause and reflection on the rituals that guide people individually, and that creates a sense of belonging collectively.


The Reina Sofia Museum presents Sylvie, one of Öyvind Fahlström’s iconic works

After several years of research and work, and thanks to the collaboration of Fundación Mapfre, the Reina Sofía Museum has completed the complex process of restoring Sylvie, an emblematic work by Öyvind Fahlström (São Paulo, 1928-Stockholm, 1976), an artist whose work is characterized by a high degree of conceptual complexity. This work comprises a set consisting of two wooden and metal plates lined with paper and fabric painted with tempera, vinyl and different magnetized elements, some of which had disappeared.

The technical challenge in Sylvie’s case, was due to nine missing pieces, including the main piece of the work, which have been recrafted by the Museum’s Restoration Department, although there was scarce information and not very precise documentation.


Boghossian announces launch of eponymous book with Assouline

Swiss High Jewellery Maison Boghossian is pleased to announce the launch of its book ‘Boghossian’ written by acclaimed Jewellery Historian and Author Vivienne Becker and published by iconic luxury publishers Assouline.



Ashkal Alwan – The Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts relocates
After 11 years, Ashkal Alwan bids farewell to Jisr Al Wati and move on to Mar Mikhael on Armenia Street. Their new space is versatile and can either be enclosed as for an exhibition or open to the street and to the passersby.



Adriano Pedrosa (Brazil) appointed Curator of Biennale Arte 2024. He is currently the artistic director of Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand – MASP. Biennale Arte Venice – Giardini and Arsenale, Saturday 20 April to Sunday 24 November 2024

Adriano Pedrosa

“I am honoured and humbled by this prestigious appointment, especially as the first Latin American to curate the International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, and in fact the first one based in the Southern Hemisphere. The Biennale is certainly the most important platform for contemporary art in the world, and it is an exciting challenge and a responsibility to embark on this project. I look forward to bringing artists to Venice and realizing their projects, as well as to working with the Biennale’s great team. For this unique opportunity, I am grateful to the Biennale President, Roberto Cicutto, as well as to the Institution’s Board.”



Fann A Porter Gallery Dubai now representing Syrian painter Omran Younis (b.1971).

Since the late 1990s, Syrian painter Omran Younis (b. 1971) has probed the psychological

Omran Younis, courtesy Fann a Porter

undercurrents of expressionist painting, building on a rich tradition of Syrian modernism that began when artists such as Fateh Moudarres used painting as a way of visualising the unseen but palpable shifts in Syrian society in the mid twentieth century. Younis is steeped in this history yet remains committed to ongoing experimentation, actively pushing the boundaries of painting in search of ways to communicate the complexity of the human psyche and the physical responses that reveal its fragility, such as instances of fear and pain.



Artistic Director Haig Aivazian and Administrative Director Rana Nasser Eddin have taken the difficult decision to move on from Beirut Art Center.

‘When we, as appointed directors, were handed over the keys to the center 3 years ago, we quickly realised that basic aspects of the institution had to be rebuilt from scratch. To have a functioning office, we cleared out cardboard boxes from a dark storage space, put together makeshift tables and chairs, and figured out for ourselves how we were going to get paid for our labor without being prisoners to the banks. Although those early days are now a distant memory, and although timely wages for management level staff have yet to be resolved, the institution is closer to how we imagine it should be. Crucially, we have persistently addressed these, and other, seemingly individual problems by pushing the structure of BAC itself to rethink its labor conditions and economic priorities.’


MASSIMODECARLO is pleased to announce the first European solo exhibition of Ferrari Sheppard in their new gallery space in Mayfair, London titled Tremendous.





Aida Opera Photo, Courtesy of Teatro Real,



Abu Dhabi Festival Presents the World Premiere of ‘Aida’, a co-production with Teatro Real in Madrid







Seoul to Busan, Mubarak Nasser Al-Thani, Acrylic on canvas, 120x120cm, 2019

Qatari artist Mubarak Nasser Al Thani is the latest creative to join Emergeast’s roster of artists.








Courtesy of DCT Abu Dhabi

The fifth edition of Culture Summit Abu Dhabi, a global cultural forum, welcomes more than 180 cultural leaders from around the world to the UAE capital. Under the theme ‘A Living Culture’, the global event explores the future of the culture sector and discuss creative solutions to some of the most urgent issues affecting the world today.



Courtesy of Art Jameel

Organised by Art Jameel and supported by the Ministry of Culture and Youth – UAE; High school and university students (and their families) are invited to Creative Careers Days, the UAE’s first, annual festival devoted to exploring your future in the arts.






Courtesy of Sharjah Film Platform

Sharjah Art Foundation organises SFP foregrounds recent cinematic achievements by international filmmakers and artists, noteworthy classics from around the region and experimental films that challenge the idea of what film practice is today.





Art D'Egypte
Art D’Egypte


Forever Is Now returns for a second edition in October 2022, at the Pyramids of Giza,Egypt turning to artists to translate the wonders of history into the language of the present.




Ulla Gerdes, Courtesy of the gallery
Ulla Gerdes, Courtesy of the gallery


Secret Garden by Ulla Gerdes opens  at Karim Francis Gallery – Egypt. “Secret Gardens” Ulla current exhibition shows work which focuses on plants along the way, mostly inconspicuous and hardly noticed. Her photos reinvent and highlight a different setting and life of these plants, evoking the imagination of secret gardens, vibrant, deeply silent and peaceful, surprisingly picturesque and mysterious.



Lakwena Maciver © Jim Winslet
Lakwena Maciver © Jim Winslet


Celebrating its 10th anniversary in London this October, 1-54 is delighted to return to Somerset House with its flagship edition over the course of four days from 13-16 October 2022 (Press & VIP Preview on 13 October). 1-54 London 2022 will host 50 international exhibitors across 21 countries, its largest number of countries to date!



The Museum of Islamic Art appears to float above the waters of the Arabian Gulf. Courtesy of the Museum of Islamic Art.
The Museum of Islamic Art appears to float above the waters of the Arabian Gulf.
Courtesy of the Museum of Islamic Art.

Qatar Museums today reopened the iconic Museum of Islamic Art to the public following a year-long facilities enhancement project and the reimagination and reinstallation of its permanent collection galleries. The inauguration ceremony was attended by diplomats and cultural emissaries representing all nations of the region that together are celebrated as part of the Qatar-MENASA 2022 Year of Culture.





"Museum in a Book - Part One - Founding and pioneering period, and the Artistic Groups"
“Museum in a Book – Part One – Founding and pioneering period, and the Artistic Groups”

“Museum in a Book – Part One – Founding and pioneering period, and the Artistic Groups” – First publications of Ibrahimi Collection for Fine Arts in Arabic language, in 432 pages, color printing, published by Dar Khotot – Amman – Jordan.





Fondation Boghossian, Villa Empain, ©Georges de Kinder
Fondation Boghossian, Villa Empain, ©Georges de Kinder

Menart Fair Brussels At The Boghossian Foundation (Villa Empain) for the 3rd Edition Of The Modern & Contemporary Art Fair, Dedicated To Artists From The Middle East And North Africa.







Nathaniel Rackowe : Fractured Landscapes, the exhibition revolves around Fractured City, an installation conceived to occupy the central floor of the gallery around which visitors circulate.





Timo Nasseri - Lepton, 2017, Steel, wood, rubber. 19.5 × 99 × 24 cm.
Timo Nasseri – Lepton, 2017, Steel, wood, rubber. 19.5 × 99 × 24 cm.

Sabrina Amrani is delighted to announce the incorporation of Timo Nasseri to the gallery’s roster of artists. Timo Nasseri (born in 1972, Berlin, Germany) lives and works in Berlin. He received his diploma in photography from the Lette-Verein, Berlin in 1997. His work uses the means of natural science to open up a perspective for the poetic and fantastic. Inspired by Ibn Muqla, Nasseri started an in-depth research on Arabic writing and alphabet, giving particular attention to forms and aesthetics. His practice discusses the infinity and boundlessness, transcendence and metaphysics in a wider context and writing as the beginning and the end.



Heather Day, Rose Prism No. 3, 2022, Mixed media on canvas, 58 x 90 in.
Heather Day, Rose Prism No. 3, 2022, Mixed media on canvas, 58 x 90 in.


Heather Day-Split Screen: First solo exhibition with the gallery featuring 10 new paintings on canvas in The Pit Los Angeles.The Pit is pleased to present Split Screen, Joshua Tree-based artist Heather Day’s first solo show with the gallery. The exhibition will be on view at the gallery’s newly renovated Los Angeles location from September 17 to October 15, 2022 with an opening reception on September 17 from 5-7PM.



Rodolfo Aricò: The Dissonant Image

Rodolfo Aricò – The Dissonant Image ,Monograph By Francesca Pola.

15 September – 15 November

The A arte Invernizzi gallery opens on Thursday 15 September 2022 at 6 pm the solo exhibition Rodolfo Aricò: the dissonant image, curated by Francesca Pola, in which representative works from the 1960s and 1980s are presented.


© Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi
© Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi


Louvre Abu Dhabi Continues to Foster Relationships with Partners from UAE and the Region.New loans on display from Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah. Extension of existing loan agreements with Jordan, Oman and KSA




Arcangelo Sassolino - Diplomazija Astuta
Arcangelo Sassolino – Diplomazija Astuta

Arcangelo Sassolino | Biennale Di Venezia 2022.

The empty darkness of that wall, of those stones, of everything inanimate – in Caravaggio’s painting, that void seems to be the very condition of the scene, what makes possible the vibrant, throbbing light that makes those bodies live and move. This radical contrast between light and darkness makes the scene into something that happens before our eyes, and not merely something that will happen or has already happened..


Qatar Museums Cultural Programme
Qatar Museums Cultural Programme


Qatar Museums announces unprecedented cultural developments for fall 2022.






78 galleries from 27 countries will be coming to Abu Dhabi from 16 – 20 November at Manarat Al Saadiyat





Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka

Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka Joins NYU Abu Dhabi Faculty

  • Soyinka becomes the first Nobel prize winner to be part of the NYUAD faculty
  • Soyinka’s appointment is aligned with NYUAD’s Academic Strategy, and the University’s mission as an educational institution



CI Venue Tersane Istanbul
CI Venue Tersane Istanbul

Contemporary Istanbul is pleased to announce the list of exhibitors taking part in its 17th edition, which will be held between September 17-22, 2022. The main partner of Contemporary Istanbul is Akbank.





The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) has announced its eighth season’s lineup of performances, talks, and workshops centered around the theme ‘Stories’. The events will showcase local, regional, and global artists whose works build on inspiring storytelling, inviting audiences to participate in the process of creative expression on and off the stage.



Khaybar will be introduced for visitors for the first time - Photo for Khaybar Keyholes
Khaybar will be introduced for visitors for the first time – Photo for Khaybar Keyholes

The ancient desert city of AlUla has announced its 2022 line up of key events and festivals. Under the umbrella of AlUla Moments, the 2022 lineup includes the return of AlUla Wellness Festival as well as Winter at Tantora and announces a new addition to the calendar – The Ancient Kingdoms Festival.





The international urban photography festival Trieste Photo Days returns from 28-30 October 2022.






The Doha Film Institute (DFI) is accepting juror applications for the 2022 Special 10th edition of the Ajyal Film Festival, set to take place from 1-8 October 2022 with events and activities taking place both in-person and online.




HENDRA GUNAWAN’S FISH MARKET ON THE BEACH, 1980, OIL ON CANVAS, 140 X 234 CM We are excited to stage this first-of-a-kind auction in Singapore, showcasing ar
We are excited to stage this first-of-a-kind auction in Singapore, showcasing ar

Sotheby’s will hold its first auction of Modern & Contemporary Art in Singapore* – a response both to the ever-increasing demand from a growing collector base in the region, and to the company’s commitment to maintaining an active on-the-ground presence across the APAC region. The auction on August 28 will be livestreamed to the world via, with a preview exhibition also running from August 25-27 at the Regent Singapore [1 Cuscaden Road].



Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi Photo H+C
Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi Photo H+C

Louvre Abu Dhabi & Richard Mille extend the submissions for the second edition of the Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here exhibition and Richard Mille Art Prize until 3 September 2022.





Courtesy of Christie's Education
Courtesy of Christie’s Education

Christie’s Education presents to you two new innovative academic year-long programmes, the Contemporary Art Business Program and the Art World Career Project. Both programmes are hybrid, with the option to learn virtually or virtually and in person. The courses aim to expand on existing programmes at Christie’s Education and offer you everything you need to build your future in the art market, theory, practice, and most importantly, contacts within the industry.


Head of a Peasant Woman, 1885
Head of a Peasant Woman, 1885

Unseen self-portrait of Vincent Van Gogh has been discovered by an X-ray taken of Van Gogh’s Head of a Peasant Woman (1885) by the National Galleries of Scotland.




Christie’s Global President Jussi Pylkkänen selling Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn for USD $195 M on May 9 at Christie’s New York
Christie’s Global President Jussi Pylkkänen selling Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn for USD $195 M on May 9 at Christie’s New York


Christie’s Global Sales Achieve £3.3 B / $4.1 B in First Half 2022.






The first edition of Paris+ par Art Basel will bring together 156 premier galleries from 30 countries and territories – including 61 exhibitors with spaces in France – in a new flagship event that further augments Paris’s standing as a cultural epicenter.




2022 marks 70 years since the Helsinki 1952 Olympic Games, and the 10th anniversary of Helsinki as the World Design Capital in 2012. Throughout, the city has prioritised the reuse and revitalisation of its original Olympic architectural landmarks, offering improved cultural spaces that contribute to the evolving character and shape of the city, whilst respectfully preserving the national value of each site.


Guest Lounge ARCOmadrid 2022 by Burgos & Garrido. Picture: Armando Toril
Guest Lounge ARCOmadrid 2022 by Burgos & Garrido. Picture: Armando Toril



ARCOmadrid, together with the Foro de Marcas Renombradas Españolas (FMRE) and AD magazine, is calling for architects, technical architects, decorators, designers and other professionals to design the Guest Lounge for ARCOmadrid 2023.




Beirut Photo is back for a second edition from September 26 till the 2nd of October 2022.






Sam Spratt, VII. Wormfood (2022). Courtesy of Christie's.
Sam Spratt, VII. Wormfood (2022). Courtesy of Christie’s.

Christie’s Cartography of the Mind A Curated NFT Sale to Benefit the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), closed Tuesday, June 28, 2022 totaling $1,569,960 across 27 lots.





Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi Photo H+C 1
Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi Photo H+C 1

Louvre Abu Dhabi & Richard Mille announce the second edition of Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here 2022 and The Richard Mille Art Prize.






Serpentine Pavilion 2022
Serpentine Pavilion 2022

The 21st Serpentine Pavilion, Black Chapel, designed by Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates is open and on view until the 16th of October 2022.





Frieze Los Angeles
Frieze Los Angeles

Frieze Los Angeles is Moving to Santa Monica Airport in 2023. The new location has been selected for its additional space and flexibility, allowing the fair to showcase innovative art and ideas across all forms of creativity. The fair will take place over multiple sites across the property, with a focus on a signature Frieze bespoke tent designed by Kulapat Yantrasast’s WHY studio.



Jeff Koons, Balloon Monkey (Magenta), 2006–13. Photo courtesy of Christie's London.
Jeff Koons, Balloon Monkey (Magenta), 2006–13. Photo courtesy of Christie’s London.

Jeff Koons Balloon Sculpture could fetch over $10 million at Christie’s to Benefit Ukraine.







Central courtyard with the glazed partitions. | Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Cemal Emden (photographer)
Central courtyard with the glazed partitions. | Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Cemal Emden (photographer)

Renovation of Niemeyer Guest House (Lebanon) and Flying Saucer Rehabilitation (UAE) were shortlisted for Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2022. The Aga Khan Award for Architecture is given every three years to projects that set new standards of excellence in architecture, planning practices, historic preservation and landscape architecture.




Nadia Samdani, Photo: Noor Photoface
Nadia Samdani, Photo: Noor Photoface

Nadia Samdani has had the honour of Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire conferred upon her in the Queen’s 2022 Birthday Honours List. Samdani has been recognised for services to global art philanthropy and supporting the arts in Bangladesh, South Asia and the United Kingdom. The Birthday Honours list recognises the achievements of a wide range of extraordinary people across the UK.



Laboratory of the Future_Fred Swart # 04
Laboratory of the Future_Fred Swart # 04

The President of La Biennale di Venezia, Roberto Cicutto, and the Curator of the 18th International Architecture Exhibition, Lesley Lokko – appointed as the Artistic Director of the Architecture Department by the Board of Directors on December 14th, 2021 – announced the title and theme of the Biennale Architettura 2023, which will be held from May 20th to November 26th 2023 (pre-opening May 18th and 19th) in the Giardini, at the Arsenale, and at various sites around Venice.


Mahmoud Said, La Mise Au Tombeau, 1926. Oil on board, 57 x 75 cm
Mahmoud Said, La Mise Au Tombeau, 1926. Oil on board, 57 x 75 cm

La Mise Au Tombeau, an exceptional oil painting by Egyptian artist Mahmoud Said (Egypt, 1897-1964), was the top lot at Bonhams’ sale of Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern Art including On The Banks of the Nile in London (Tuesday 24 May). It achieved an impressive £630,300 against a pre-sale estimate of £350,000 – £500,000. The work was purchased by The Halim Time & Glass Museum in Chicago, in anticipation of major exhibition showcasing ancient and Modern Egyptian Artworks.


The Salone del Mobile will be back in June. We will be celebrating the 60th milestone edition and all the beauty generated not just by the event, but also by the companies, the brands and the designers on whom its success hinges, and who come together to create an event that reflects the ongoing ecological transition of the furnishing system.



ARCOlisboa 2022
ARCOlisboa 2022

ARCOlisboa 2022 returns to celebrate its 5th Anniversary, opening its doors to the public from the 20th to the 22nd of May.





Ramses Younan, Abstract Composition, 1945. Mixed media on paper, 27 x 37 cm. Courtesy of Bonhams
Ramses Younan, Abstract Composition, 1945. Mixed media on paper, 27 x 37 cm. Courtesy of Bonhams

Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern Art including On The Banks of the Nile: A Journey Through Egyptian Art will take place on the 24th of May at Bonhams New Bond Street, London







David Hockney, A Year in Normandie (2020-2021) (detail). Composite iPad painting. © David Hockney
David Hockney, A Year in Normandie (2020-2021) (detail). Composite iPad painting. © David Hockney

David Hockney’s A Year in Normandie is the artist’s largest painting ever – a 90.75 metres long, inspired by his year in lockdown.







Ephemeral Witness by Manal AlDowayan
Ephemeral Witness by Manal AlDowayan

Centre Pompidou has acquired the work “Ephemeral Witness” by Manal AlDowayan for its permanent collection. “Epheremal Witness” is an artwork that imitates the form of a sand crystal called the Desert Rose, an archeological phenomena, found in very few deserts around the world.






Photo London at Somerset House. ©Graham Carlow
Photo London at Somerset House. ©Graham Carlow

Somerset House is delighted to welcome back Photo London with the seventh edition of the Fair running from 11–15 May 2022, featuring more than 100 exhibitors.






Andy Warhol, Shot Sage Blue Marilyn (1964). Acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen. 101.6 x 101.6 cm. Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd, 2022.
Andy Warhol, Shot Sage Blue Marilyn (1964). Acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen. 101.6 x 101.6 cm. Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd, 2022.

Andy Warhol’s 1964 portrait of Marilyn Monroe sells for $195M at Christie’s, Becoming the Second-Priciest Work Ever Sold at Auction







VOLTA Art Fair returns to Basel in June at ELYS, Elsässerstrasse 215A.
VOLTA Art Fair returns to Basel in June at ELYS, Elsässerstrasse 215A.


Six weeks ahead of the 17th Basel edition, VOLTA Art Fair publishes its exhibitor list. 66 galleries from 25 nations are represented in Basel and offer a wide selection of artists and their work, making the fair more international than ever. From June 13 to 19, VOLTA Basel will showcase carefully curated presentations of global contemporary art.



Mazen Haïdar signs his new book “La ferronnerie architecturale à Beyrouth au XXe siècle” at Galerie Tanit



Pablo Picasso, Dora Maar (1939). Courtesy of Sotheby’s
Pablo Picasso, Dora Maar (1939). Courtesy of Sotheby’s



Three Evening Auctions at Sotheby’s Hong Kong realise a combined total of US$221.8 Million – Highest total ever achieved in a single evening at Sotheby’s Hong Kong.
Live-streamed via Sotheby’s website and across an additional nine social and broadcast platforms in Asia and the rest of the world, the three sales spanned offerings of Modern and Contemporary Art, as well as a single lot sale of the De Beers Blue – the largest blue diamond ever to be offered at auction.



© Thierry Bal and Zineb Sedira
© Thierry Bal and Zineb Sedira

Special mention for the French pavilion, Zineb Sedira and the curatorial team at the Venice Biennale.

Ali Cherri wins Silver Lion at the Venice Biennale for a Promising Young Participant..




Sharjah Art Foundation announces a list of over 150 artists participating in Sharjah Biennial 15. Conceived by the late Okwui Enwezor and curated by the Foundation’s Director Hoor Al Qasimi, Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present reflects on Enwezor’s visionary work, which transformed contemporary art and has influenced the evolution of institutions and biennials around the world, including the Sharjah Biennial.



Sonia Boyce and Simone Leigh Win Golden Lions at the Venice Biennale for Work Honoring the Visions of Black Women.



A hologram of Edgar Degas's Petite danseuse de quatorze ans (1927), previously on view at Christie's San Francisco and Hong Kong branches. Courtesy of Christie's.


Christie’s is sending a Hologram of Edgar Degas Ballerina worth $20 million on a world tour to avoid cost and complexity of delivery.

Caption: A hologram of Edgar Degas’s Petite danseuse de quatorze ans (1927), previously on view at Christie’s San Francisco and Hong Kong branches. Courtesy of Christie’s.


World record of EUR 115,000 for Alvar Aalto at Stockholms Auktionsverk Helsinkis Modern Art & Design auction. The table was originally ordered by The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, but as both the manufacturer Viljo Hirvonen and Alvar Aalto passed away before the table had been delivered, it remained in Finland and has remained privately owned until now.


The 17th Istanbul Biennial will be curated by Ute Meta Bauer-Amar Kanwar- David Teh.




Diriyah Biennale Foundation announces the curatorial team overseeing the Islamic Arts Biennale: Dr Saad Alrashed, Dr Omniya Abdel Barr, Dr Julian Raby and Sumayya Vally.


The winners of the Professional category of the 2022 Sony World Photography Awards have been announced. Domagoj Burilović from Croatia was named winner for Architecture & Design. Just behind Burilović, the two finalists were Javier Arcenillas from Spain, taking second place, and Yun Chi Chen from Taiwan, coming third. Works of the winners will now be exhibited at London’s Somerset House.


Tate Liverpool © Andrew Dunkley and Mark Heathcote
Tate Liverpool © Andrew Dunkley and Mark Heathcote


Turner Prize 2022 shortlist unveiled. Heather Phillipson, Ingrid Pollard, Veronica Ryan, and Sin Wai Kin, are the four U.K.-based artists shortlisted.  An exhibition of their work will be held at Tate Liverpool from 20 October 2022 to 19 March 2023. The winner will be announced in December at an award ceremony in Liverpool.


Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564). A nude young man (after Masaccio) surrounded by two figures.Pen and two shades of brown ink, 13 x 7 7/8 in.Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd. 2022.
Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564). A nude young man (after Masaccio) surrounded by two figures.Pen and two shades of brown ink, 13 x 7 7/8 in.Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd. 2022.


A rediscovered drawing by Michelangelo could fetch $30 million at Christie’s Paris next month. This exceptionally rare work, one of the very few drawings by Michelangelo still in private hands, will be auctioned on 18 May during the Paris sale Maîtres anciens et du XIXe siècle. Tableaux, dessins, sculptures (Old Masters and 19th Century Art: Paintings, Drawings and Sculptures).




Lina Shamma's work. Courtesy of House of Today
Lina Shamma’s work. Courtesy of House of Today

House of Today will unveil Lina Shamma’s latest collection entitled ‘Imprévu’, in New York, at Bungalow’s pop up show (April 21 – May 27, 2022). The functional series part of the ‘Imprévu’ collection, are unconventional, pushing the envelope, reinterpreting everyday objects.




Volta announced its exhibitor list for 2022 New York edition. The fair will take place from May 18 to May 22. With both new and returning exhibitors, this year’s fair stands to reintroduce VOLTA to the New York market. Photo: Courtesy of Volta New York


Louise Nevelson’s monochromatic wood sculpture / ©Robert Gerhardt
Louise Nevelson’s monochromatic wood sculpture / ©Robert Gerhardt



MoMA reinstalled one of its galleries to feature works by artists born in present-day Ukraine. Titled ‘In Solidarity’ the gallery demonstrates support for Ukraine following Russia’s invasion.



Qatar announced the plan to develop three new cultural institutions. The Lusail Museum will be designed by Herzog & de Meuron. Qatar Auto Museum will be designed by OMAElemental is currently developing the Art Mill in Doha. Photo: 3-2-1 QOSM, Exterior. Courtesy of Qatar Museums



Gallery Maniera, DINING CHAIR II – MUGA SILK designed by Studio Mumbai – Bijoy Jain made in teakwood and muga silk
Gallery Maniera, DINING CHAIR II – MUGA SILK designed by Studio Mumbai – Bijoy Jain made in teakwood and muga silk

MANIERA Gallery wins the PAD Prize for contemporary design object with the dining chair by Studio Mumbai.






New Board of Directors of the Fondazione La Triennale di Milano reappoint Stefano Boeri as the president. The new members of the Board, selected for a four-year term, include the reappointment of Stefano Boeri as President, and the appointment of Elena Vasco as Vice President.


Courtesy of Institut du monde arabe-Tourcoing
Courtesy of Institut du monde arabe-Tourcoing



The exhibition Picasso and the Arab Avant-Gardes will find its continuation within the walls of the IMA (Paris) in 2024.





3-2-1 QOSM, Exterior. Courtesy of Qatar Museums
3-2-1 QOSM, Exterior. Courtesy of Qatar Museums

Qatar Museums unveiled the 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum, during an official opening ceremony at Khalifa International Stadium.





Claude Monet’s Le Grand Canal et Santa Maria Della Salute. Image Courtesy Of Sotheby's
Claude Monet’s Le Grand Canal et Santa Maria Della Salute. Image Courtesy Of Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s to auction Masterful Venice View by Claude Monet in region of $50M in May Modern Auction.





Courtesy of Xavier Hufkens
Courtesy of Xavier Hufkens

Xavier Hufkens to open expanded gallery at historic flagship location in Brussels, marking the gallery’s 35th anniversary in 2022.





Mother Earth, an installation of Andrée Hochar Fattal’s sculptures at the AUB Archeological Museum.




Joasia Krysa Maija and Tanninen Mattila
Joasia Krysa Maija and Tanninen Mattila

Joasia Krysa to curate second edition of Helsinki Biennial opening June 2023. Celebrating the synthesis of art and the environment, the biennial will return to the unique surroundings of Vallisaari Island in the Helsinki archipelago, whilst building upon its inaugural edition through a greater presence on the mainland in locations across the city.




Etel Adnan, Untitled, 2010, oil on canvas, 24 x 30 cm, Collection Mudam Luxemburg, Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean. © Photo: Rémi Villaggi / Mudam Luxembourg
Etel Adnan, Untitled, 2010, oil on canvas, 24 x 30 cm, Collection Mudam Luxemburg, Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean. © Photo: Rémi Villaggi / Mudam Luxembourg

Etel Adnan’s first exhibition in Netherlands “Colour as Language” is taking place on the 20th of May. The Van Gogh Museum presents a retrospective of work by the artist Etel Adnan. The exhibition features more than 80 of her works, presented alongside ten works by Vincent van Gogh, who was a significant source of inspiration for Etel Adnan.





Under the Wave off Kanagawa. Katsushika Hokusai (1760 – 1849), c. 1830 – 1832, Japan, ink and colour on paper. Louvre Abu Dhabi (LAD 2020.91) © Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi. Photo: Ismail Noor / Seeing Things
© Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi. Photo: Ismail Noor / Seeing Things

Louvre Abu Dhabi‘s exhibition Stories of Paper, Exploring the Journey of Paper through Time and Space opens on the 20th of April. The exhibition explores the vast range of artistic expressions of paper, with the aim of cultivating the visitors’ deeper knowledge of a familiar, yet ever more distant material.





Grand Palais Éphémère
Grand Palais Éphémère

The inaugural edition of Paris+, par Art Basel will take place at the Grand Palais Éphémère from October 20 to October 23, 2022, with the Preview Day on October 19.





Art Brussels announces content of its 38th edition | 28 April – 1 May 2022.




Andy Warhol, Shot Sage Blue Marilyn (1964). Acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen. 101.6 x 101.6 cm. Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd, 2022.
Andy Warhol, Shot Sage Blue Marilyn (1964). Acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen. 101.6 x 101.6 cm. Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd, 2022.

Christie’s to offer a Marilyn Monroe by Warhol for an Estimated $200 Million



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.
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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.