22 August 2019

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LAST CHANCE Artists and the Cultural Foundation: The Early Years

8 June


The Qasr Al Hosn cultural centre’s opening exhibition features more than 100 works by Emirati artists who were active in the Foundation in the 1980s and 90s, including works from that time plus some new commissions. “The exhibition will be a visual and symbolic representation of the artistic diversity of the UAE”, as the press release puts it.

Artists and the Cultural Foundation: The Early Years is curated by Maya Allison, Chief Curator and Executive Director of NYUAD Art Gallery, along with Alia Lootah, Senior Curatorial Assistant at Louvre Abu Dhabi. In her tenure at the Art Gallery, Allison has become immersed in the development of contemporary art in the UAE in general and must be regarded as one of the leading commentators on the scene; Alia Lootah’s day job is complemented by her background as an interesting (and successful) working artist. These look like great choices for what could be a landmark show.

They have certainly created an exhibition that includes examples from most of the big names – Hassan Sharif, Mohammed Yousif, Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim, Mohammed Al Astad, Abdulraheem Salim, Abdel Qader Al Rais, Mohammed Al Qassab, Mohammed Mandi, Mohammed Yousif – to more recent work from the likes of Jalal Luqman and Obaid Suroor. Artists and the Cultural Foundation: The Early Years is like a crash course in UAE contemporary art. It’ll be a while before we see so many significant artists from the Emirates shown together in the same place at the same time.

Above: Hassan Sharif, Spoons 5, 2008


8 June
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Qasr Al Hosn
Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum Street
Abu Dhabi,
+971 2 697 6400