Australia to Africa, 1971

Frank Bowling
Australia to Africa, 1971
Acrylic on canvas, 280 x 712 cm
Hales Gallery London
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017


On September 29, Sharjah Art Foundation launches its Autumn 2018 programme of exhibitions featuring solo and group exhibitions that highlight influential artists from the region and around the world. Solo exhibitions of the works of Frank Bowling (29 September 2018–12 January 2019) and Ala Younis (29 September 2018–5 January 2019) will present an overview of the artists’ practices and explore their development through their career. Also opening on the 29th will be an exhibition of site-specific works created by the March Project 2018 (29 September 2018–10 January 2019) resident artists and a tribute to the 10th anniversary of the Production Programme (29 September–10 November 2018).

Focusing on the artist’s widely-recognised map paintings, the exhibition Frank Bowling: Mappa Mundi [Map of the World] presents an overview of major developments in Bowling’s practice, exploring the artist’s engagement with history, migration, memory and representation across a six-decade career.

Ala Younis: Steps Toward the Impossible will explore the artist’s multifaceted practice of the past 10 years. Best known for her extensively researched projects, Younis has explored the formation of the modern Arab world and the potential for renewed thought and action that the era continues to inspire.

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Sharjah Art Foundation Production Programme, the foundation will present a selection of works commissioned over the course of the decade-long programme. This exhibition will include works by 2014 awardees Marwa Arsanios and Raed Yassin and 2016 awardees Mohammed Fariji, Rula Halawni, Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn, Khaled Kaddal, Basir Mahmood, Amina Menia and Khaled Sabsabi.

An exhibition of site-specific works in photography, sculpture and installation will be presented as the culmination of March Project 2018, an annual educational residency programme that provides opportunities for young artists from the region and beyond to research, realise and present site-specific works at Sharjah Art Foundation. The March Project 2018 artists are Shaikha Al Mazrou, Lêna Bùi, Baris Dogrusöz, Hind Mezaina and Tulip Hazbar, and Ayman Zedani.

On 30 October, SAF will host 5-plus-1: Rethinking Abstraction, an international symposium that will explore the implications of the original 5-plus-1 exhibition, curated by Frank Bowling in 1969. The symposium organisers are Okwui Enwezor (curator, critic, and former director of Haus der Kunst), Hoor Al Qasimi (President and Director, Sharjah Art Foundation) and Salah M. Hassan (Goldwin Smith Professor and Director, Institute for Comparative Modernities (ICM), Cornell University), and speakers include Bowling, artist Melvin Edwards, and leadership and curators from institutions and universities around the world, including Columbia University, Dia Art Foundation, and the Tate.

Two additional exhibitions will open in November. The foundation will present Amal Kenawy: Frozen Memory (3 November 2018 – 19 January 2019), the first retrospective of the artist since her passing in 2012. Kenawy’s work explores political, social and feminist issues, primarily in Egypt, and reflects on topics of death and regeneration. She participated in Sharjah Biennial 8 in 2007 and received the Sharjah Biennial award for her contribution.

Sharjapan: The Poetics of Space(21 November 2018 – 15 January 2019) will explore the relationship between art and books. The exhibition will highlight book design in Japan through innovative exhibition methods, presented in a space designed by Yoshiaki Irobe of Nippon Design Center. Made possible with the support of Japanese bookseller Culture Convenience Club Co., Ltd, Sharjapan: The Poetics of Space will feature works from the modernist era to the present, exploring topics such as photography, performance, architecture and artist books.

All Sharjah Art Foundation exhibitions are free and open to the public.