4 November 2017–3 February 2018
Al Mureijah Square and Bait Al Serkal, Arts Square
HH Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, member of the Federal Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah, attended the opening of the landmark retrospective Hassan Sharif: I Am The Single Work Artist at Sharjah Art Foundation. Also in attendance were HE Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq); HE Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, President of Zayed University; Brigadier General Saif Al Zari Al Shamsi, Commander-in-Chief of Sharjah Police; HE Khalid Al Midfa, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority; HE Salah Salem Al Mahmoud, Director General of the Sharjah Documents and Archives Authority and other government officials.
HE Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, President and Director of Sharjah Art Foundation and curator of the show, gave guests a tour of the exhibition, which is organised thematically into narrative chapters, each with its own space. The chapters were given titles inspired by Sharif’s own words: ‘…so I created a semi system’, ‘My little tiny box’, ‘I’m loyal to colour’, ‘Performance is good’, ‘I’m an object maker’, and ‘Things in my room’. An additional space, with the chapter title ‘Hassan’s Atelier’, houses the contents of Sharif’s studio, recently donated to SAF by the artist’s estate.
On view from 4 November 2017 to 3 February 2018, the exhibition traces nearly five decades of the artist's multimedia practice, including painting, sculpture, assemblage, drawing, installation and photography. Some of the works have never been exhibited before. Free and open to the public, the retrospective spans all of Sharjah Art Foundation’s spaces in the Al Mureijah Square area and Bait Al Serkal in Arts Square.
SAF will publish a comprehensive bilingual (Arabic/English) catalogue, including essays by the artist, HE Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, Emirati artist Mohammed Kazem and Emirati poet Rashid al-Khalid.
About Sharjah Art Foundation
The Sharjah Art Foundation is an advocate, catalyst and producer of contemporary art within the Emirate of Sharjah and the surrounding region, in dialogue with the international arts community. Under the leadership of founder Hoor Al Qasimi, a curator and artist, the foundation advances an experimental and wide-ranging programmatic model that supports the production and presentation of contemporary art, preserves and celebrates the distinct culture of the region, and encourages a shared understanding of the transformational role of art. The foundation’s core initiatives include the long-running Sharjah Biennial, featuring contemporary artists from around the world; the annual March Meeting, a convening of international arts professionals and artists; grants and residencies for artists, curators, and cultural producers; ambitious and experimental commissions; and a range of travelling exhibitions and scholarly publications.
Established in 2009 to expand programmes beyond the Sharjah Biennial, which launched in 1993, the foundation is a critical resource for artists and cultural organisations in the Gulf and a conduit for local, regional, and international developments in contemporary art. The foundation’s deep commitment to developing and sustaining the cultural life and heritage of Sharjah is reflected through year-round exhibitions, performances, screenings and educational programmes in the city of Sharjah and across the Emirate, often hosted in historic buildings that have been repurposed as cultural and community centres. A growing collection reflects the foundation’s support of contemporary artists in the realisation of new work, and its recognition of the contributions made by pioneering modern artists from the region and around the world.
Sharjah Art Foundation is a legally independent public body established by Emiri Decree and supported by government funding, grants from national and international nonprofits and cultural organisations, corporate sponsors, and individual patrons. All events are free and open to the public.
Sharjah is the third-largest of the seven United Arab Emirates, and the only one bridging the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Reflecting the deep commitment to the arts, architectural preservation and cultural education embraced by its ruler, Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Sharjah is home to more than 20 museums and has long been known as the cultural hub of the United Arab Emirates. In 1998, it was named UNESCO's 'Arab Capital of Culture' and has been designated the UNESCO ‘World Book Capital’ for the year 2019.
Alyazeyah Al Reyaysa