The 2014 edition of Art Dubai – recognised as one of the most globalised meeting points in the art world today – is round the corner. Ahead of its March 19th opening, we celebrate Dubai’s evolving art scene with our picks of February’s must-sees.
In 1968, inspired by literary works like The Arabian Nights and Sufis tales, Indian epics and the writings of Chinese poets, French photographer named Roland Michaud and his Moroccan lover Sabrina embarked on their journey acquiring images that revealed to the western world previously unknown countries which included Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and the land of the Kurds .Their images are poems written with light and shadow, colour and texture, transcending space and time for us all to appreciate the multiple reflections of the land they once traveled. Now in their 80â€™s they still travel to the Middle East and Asia, remaining faithful to their old Leica Argentic camera.
Through his installtion work, Kuwait born, Abu-Dhabi based photographer Tarek Al-Ghoussein tells the story of his family life, pursuing a personalised investigative turn into what his calls his K Files documentation. His fatherâ€™s role as the Kuwaiti dignitary to the United Nations and later as an ambassador to the United States led towards discovering many private family moments that are now public property. While he refrains from direct political commentary, Tarek does take into account how his family’s public and the private merged together and have been imperative in shaping his own life, largely contributing towards the artistâ€™s engagement with his identity.
Through their first ever exhibit of Persian rugs RIRA Gallery gives a peek into this collection of rare Persian weavings that will showcase unique carpets woven by various tribal groups from the region – carpets that are exotic, colorful, geometric and spontaneous! During the 19th through mid 20th century time period, most of the Persian tribes wove carpets for personal use. The wool came from their own herds, the shearing and dyeing was done by their men while the women created the beautiful weavings to fill in the time between their numerous domestic chores. With no rigid designs to follow or production targets to be met, each carpet was â€˜composedâ€™ in the tribal ladies hearts with no rigid As a result, Â the weavings from this era draw their value from the insights they provide into times and lives long gone.
Doodling in notebooks from a young age, during long, tedious car journeys and over extended visits with family and friends, the practice has become somewhat of a lifelong obsession for the Iranian artist. In her latest solo show in Dubai, Nargess Hashemi takes a new direction, deviating from largely figurative works centering around themes of domesticity and everyday life and moving in a surprising new trajectory. Using only the most basic materials, Hashemi adopts a commonly unfocused and subliminal practice and refines it, resulting in vibrant artworks of great complexity. The title of the exhibition references an essay by E.H. Gombrich, in which the art historian examines the psychology behind the act of doodling and explores its artistic merit.
Story as it appeared in Emirates Home February 2014 issue.