Art Week gallery shows: magpie’s top 12 picks

Dubai is awash with new shows opening to coincide with Art Dubai (well, there will be a lot of buyers in town). Here are the 12 we really like the look of …


2 MarNYUAD Art Gallery
Abu Dhabi
But We Cannot See Them: Tracing a UAE Community, 1988-2008 Guaranteed to be one of the artistic hits of the year, this show documents the community of visual artists, writers, and filmmakers who almost under the radar created an avant garde movement here. Artists in the exhibition include Hassan Sharif, Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim, Abdullah Al Saadi, Mohammed Kazem, Hussain Sharif, Vivek Vilasini, Jos Clevers, and Ebtisam Abdulaziz. Also included are archival material and videotaped interviews, as well as a reading room of work from other important members of the community, including Cristiana De Marchi, Adel Khozam, and Nujoom Al Ghanem.
8 MarLawrie Shabibi
Alserkal Avenue
Mounir Fatmi: Inside the Fire Circle Mounir Fatmi’s first solo exhibition in Dubai expands on the artist’s interest in  the idea of repetition, erasure, movement, and the tendency of history to repeat itself.
8 MarOpera Gallery
Yasmina Alaoui and Yassine Mekhnache Alaoui’s theme is her experience of a multicultural upbringing and aims to bridge extremes by embracing opposites: secular and holy, classical and contemporary, order and chaos, repulsion and attraction. Mekhnache’s canvases form the material tale of a long journey spanning three continents, cultures, traditions and talents.
9 MarJean Paul Najar Foundation
Alserkal Avenue
Artist Run New York: the Seventies A hothouse period for the avant garde in New York, questioning what art is and what it’s for, what art spaces should be, how the artist could relate to real life, and whether art can effect meaningful change. This exhibition includes work by many of the key names of the period, some not as well known as they should be – Nancy Holt, Joan Jonas, Gordon Matta-Clark, Tina Girouard, Robert Grosvenor, Richard Landry, Suzanne Harris, Jene Highstein, Richard Nonas, Trisha Brown, Philip Glass, Alan Saret, Keith Sonnier, John Torreano, Richard Tuttle, Dan Graham, Elizabeth Murray, Lynn Umlauf, Lawrence Weiner. On 13 Mar there are curator-led tours 6.30-7.30pm; book here.
9 MarGallery Isabelle van den Eynde
Alserkal Avenue
Vikram Divecha: Minor Work A contrast to Divecha’s ambitiously scaled and publicly sited projects across the UAE, smaller and more intimate but still often emerging from and reflecting on some of his more elaborate past work.
9 MarAyyam Gallery
Alserkal Avenue
Samia Halaby: Illuminated Space and Documentary Drawings of the Kafr Qasem Massacre Two concurrent solo shows for the New York-based Palestinian artist; Illuminated Space highlights experiments in abstraction, Documentary Drawings of the Kafr Qasem Massacre depict the murders of 49 Palestinian civilians by Israeli border guards in 1956. On 16 Mar there’s an artist-led tour at midday; book here.
10 MarConcrete
Alserkal Avenue
Syria: Into the Light – 60+ works by more than 40 artists from the Atassi Foundation collection, a compelling narrative of what life was like in 20th century Syria, told through the faces, gazes and postures of the men and women, notables, workers, tradesmen, shepherds, heroes and mythological figures. Many of these works, which are part of the Atassi Foundation’s collection, will be on show for the first time in the MENA region; we are promised the likes of Toufiq Tarek, Fateh Moudarres, Elias Zayyat, Yousef Abdelke and Hiba Ansari, among others.
11 MarXVA Gallery
Al Fahidi 
Samira Abbassy: Redemptive Narratives and Migrating Patterns Works on paper and oil paintings on gesso panel. Abbassy describes her work as an excavation of art history and an exploration of the Self – “a form of autobiographical self-portraiture that draws from tradition, history and culture, whilst simultaneously offering contemporary ideas and reminders to the viewer”.
12 MarShowcase Gallery
Alserkal Avenue
Helen Teede: Unhomed A personal exploration of the relationship between home and identity that at the same time speaks to a wider discourse of loss and dislocation. Fragments of Teede’s personal life become a part of the discourse of migration and displacement, a discourse intimately connected with violence, that occupies a major part of recent world history.
13 MarCarbon 12
Alserkal Avenue
Sara Rahbar: Salvation Rahbar’s bronzes combine heavy materials with intensely precarious arrangements that speak of pressure, discomfort, and vulnerability, a translation of personal vulnerability and suffering into a wider context.
13 Marthejamjar
Alserkal Avenue
Dina Saadi: Valiant Faces Portraits of the many inspiring women Saadi met when she was traveling around the world painting murals. They incorporate visual references to the locations.
13 MarCustot Gallery
Alserkal Avenue
Black, White For its first anniversary show Custot is presenting paintings, sculptures and photographs investigating the use of black and white. Featured are works from an impressive selection of Europeans and Americans – Fernando Botero, Nick Brandt, Enrico Castellani, Ian Davenport, Jean Dubuffet, Tony Cragg, Richard Höglund, William Klein, Joan Miró, Jedd Novatt, Marc Quinn, Pablo Reinoso, Mark Tobey, Bernar Venet and Fabienne Verdier.


Above: Samia Halaby, River and cliff, 1026. Acrylic on canvas

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