Also opening in September is a major exhibition in Cairo titled When Arts Become Liberty: The Egyptian Surrealists (1938-1965), organised by Sharjah Art Foundation and the Ministry of Culture in Egypt. Building upon a 2015 international conference organised by Sharjah Art Foundation in collaboration with the Institute for Comparative Modernities at Cornell University and the Visual Cultures Program at the American University in Cairo, this exhibition includes more than 150 works selected from important public and private collections both in Egypt and abroad.
Vantage Point Sharjah 4 (VPS4), the fourth iteration of SAF’s annual exhibition of photography from across the GCC, will remain on view until October 12.
Arnulf Rainer Towards Overpaintings
September 17, 2016 – November 1, 2016
Bait Al Serkal, Arts Area, Sharjah UAE
Curated by Sharjah Art Foundation Director Hoor Al Qasimi, this retrospective exhibition highlights early works by the self-taught Austrian artist Arnulf Rainer, whose career has been marked by a continual search for new approaches to painting. The show will include works from Rainer’s “Blind Paintings” and “Overpainting series”, a selection of the artist’s early sculptures and videos, as well as archival documentation that will be exhibited for the first time. Born in 1929, Rainer founded the postwar movement Art Informel in Austria. His works have been exhibited widely, including in retrospectives at the Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna (1968), the Kunstvere, Hamburg (1971) and the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York (1989). Rainer twice represented Austria at the Biennale in Venice (1978 and 1980) and participated in Documenta 7 (1980). The Arnulf Rainer Museum opened in New York in 1993.
Kamal Youssef Egyptian Surrealism’s Time Capsule
September 17, 2016 – November 17, 2016
Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah, UAE
Organised in collaboration with Sharjah Museums Department, this retrospective presents the work of Egyptian-American artist Kamal Youssef. Born in Egypt in 1923, Youssef developed his own distinctive style of painting and sculpture over the course of a seventy-year career. Kamal Youssef: Egyptian Surrealism’s Time Capsule is co-curated by Sharjah Art Foundation Director Hoor Al Qasimi and Dr Salah M. Hassan, Goldwin Smith Professor and Director, Institute for Comparative Modernities, Cornell University.
When Arts Become Liberty: The Egyptian Surrealists (1938- 1965)
September 28, 2016 – October 28, 2016
Palace of Arts, Cairo, Egypt
Organised by Sharjah Art Foundation, the Ministry of Culture, Egypt, Sector of Fine Arts, and the American University in Cairo, When Arts Become Liberty: The Egyptian Surrealists (1938-1965) is the first major exhibition to examine this important period and the artists and art groups that were active at the time.
Focusing on the evolution of the Egyptian Surrealist group and their relationship with their Western and international counterparts, the exhibition documents a pivotal chapter of modernism in Egypt that spans from the late 1930s to the early 1960s, and highlights the multifaceted aspects of modernity and its global interconnectedness in the 20th century. More than 150 works have been brought together including substantial loans from important Egyptian public and private collections.
The exhibition expands upon a 2015 conference Egyptian Surrealists in Global Perspective organised by Sharjah Art Foundation in collaboration with the Institute for Comparative Modernities at Cornell University and the Visual Cultures Program at the American University in Cairo.
When Arts Become Liberty: The Egyptian Surrealists (1938-1965) has been curated by Hoor Al Qasimi, Sharjah Art Foundation Director; Dr Salah M. Hassan, Goldwin Smith Professor and Director, Institute for Comparative Modernities, Cornell University; Ehab Ellaban, Ufuq Gallery, Cairo; and Nagla Samir, American University in Cairo. The exhibition will begin an international tour in 2017.
Enrico David Fault Work
October 1, 2016 – January 9, 2017
SAF Art Spaces, Sharjah, UAE
Fault Work – Enrico David’s first solo exhibition in the UAE – will showcase the artist’s sculptures, plaques and large-scale tapestries, which employ artisanal craft techniques. David’s diverse practice resides at the intersections of sculpture, textiles, drawing, painting and installation. David’s sculptures are angular and fluid, while his tapestries are composed of organic and geometric forms. Both open-ended and psychologically charged, his works reflect a unique contemporary surrealism in their abstracted imagery and ambiguous form. Born in Italy and based in London, David was shortlisted for the 2009 Turner Prize. His work has been shown across Europe and the United States, including recent solo exhibitions at The Hepworth Wakefield, West Yorkshire (2015); UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2013) and New Museum, New York (2011). David also participated at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013) with a major installation of paintings, tapestries and sculptures in the Encyclopedic Palace.
Robert Breer Time Flies
October 1, 2016 – January 8, 2017
The Flying Saucer, Sharjah, UAE
Robert Breer: Time Flies will present a selection of Breer’s early paintings and animations, as a well as his later kinetic sculptures and large-scale works. One of the founders of the American avant-garde, Breer was an experimental filmmaker, painter and sculptor whose career spanned more than 50 years. Solo exhibitions of his work have been held at international venues such as the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis (2012); Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (2011); Museum Tinguely, Basel (2009) and Musée national d'art moderne, Paris (2001). His work is included in the collections of the Centre Pompidou, Paris and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others.
Yayoi Kusama Dot Obsessions
October 1, 2016 – January 9, 2017
Building I, SAF Art Spaces, Sharjah, UAE
Yayoi Kusama’s solo exhibition features a comprehensive selection of early works from the 1950s as well as site-specific reproductions and interactive installations. One of Japan’s most important living artists, Kusama has forged a singular practice that spans over six decades and encompasses a variety of mediums from traditional Japanese painting and sculpture to performance, printmaking, photography and installation.
Kusama’s work has been exhibited extensively including major retrospectives at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2015); Tate Modern, London (2012); the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2012); the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2011) and the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (2004). Kusama represented Japan at the 38th Venice Biennale (1993). Curated by Sharjah Art Foundation Director Hoor Al Qasimi, Dot Obsessions at Sharjah Art Foundation will be Kusama’s first exhibition in the UAE.
November 12, 2016 – January 16, 2017
SAF Art Spaces, Building J, Sharjah, UAE
This solo exhibition of Sudanese artist Kamala Ibrahim Ishaq will showcase a variety of paintings, including early pieces by the artist as well as new works commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation. A pioneer of modernist painting in Sudan, Kamala was head of the Painting Department at the College of Fine and Art, Khartoum and resident at the Sudan National Museum in the 1970s. Throughout her career, the artist has held multiple solo exhibitions in Khartoum, and has participated in various international and national exhibitions including at the Whitechapel Gallery, London (1995). This exhibition is co-curated by Sharjah Art Foundation Director Hoor Al Qasimi and Dr. Salah M. Hassan, Goldwin Smith Professor and Director, Institute for Comparative Modernities, Cornell University.
Kamala Ishaq’s exhibition will run parallel to a major exhibition at Sharjah Art Foundation on Sudanese modern and contemporary art, titled The Khartoum School: the Making of the Modern Art Movement in Sudan.
Amir Nour A Retrospective (1965-present) Brevity is the Soul of Wit
November 12, 2016 – January 9, 2017
Bait Al Serkal, Arts Area, Sharjah, UAE
A Retrospective (1965-present) Brevity is the Soul of Wit covers the last 30 years of the American-based Sudanese artist Amir Nour, presenting drawings, photographs, sculptures and new commissions drawn from images of the domes, arches, calabashes and sand hills of the artist’s native Sudan. Nour’s works combine traditional African imagery with the visual vocabulary and materials of Western minimalism. Co-curated by Sharjah Art Foundation Director Hoor Al Qasimi and Dr. Salah M. Hassan, Goldwin Smith Professor Cornell University, this is the artist’s first exhibition in the UAE.
Vantage Point Sharjah 4
July 30, 2016 – October 12, 2016
Building GH, SAF Art Spaces, Sharjah UAE
Vantage Point Sharjah 4 (VPS4) is the fourth iteration of Sharjah Art Foundation’s annual initiative, supporting the practice of photography within the GCC. The aim is to foster the development of local and regional photographers and to encourage their engagement with one another as well as the wider cultural communities in the Emirates and the GCC.
As in previous years, VPS4 started with an open call, inviting submissions of work focused on self-portraiture. A large number of applicants, with a variety of professional backgrounds, skill-sets and interests, responded to the call. Vantage Point Sharjah 4 presents a wide-ranging selection of photography and reflects the development of a vibrant community of photographers across the region.
About Sharjah Art Foundation
Sharjah Art Foundation brings a broad range of contemporary art and cultural programmes to the communities of Sharjah, the UAE and the region. Since 2009, SAF has built on the history of cultural collaboration and exchange that began with the first Sharjah Biennial in 1993. Working with local and international partners, Sharjah Art Foundation creates opportunities for artists and artistic production through core initiatives that include Sharjah Biennial, the annual March Meeting, residencies, production grants, commissions, exhibitions, research, publications and a growing collection. SAF education and public programmes focus on building recognition of the central role art can play in the life of a community by promoting public learning and a participatory approach to art. All events are free and open to the public.
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