Publication Details

Unsettled Objects
Exhibition Guide
Paperback
147 pages, 139 visuals
16.5 x 11.5 cm
English and Arabic
Published by Sharjah Art Foundation, 2021

Overview

This exhibition guide documents the recent and rarely seen acquisitions from Sharjah Art Foundation’s holdings. The show derives its title from Lothar Baumgarten’s featured artwork, Unsettled Objects (1968–1969), a slide-carousel projection filmed in Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum.

The artists featured in Unsettled Objects work in a variety of mediums across a broad expanse of time. They explore concepts of mapping and archaeology, of memory and selfhood, of sight and absence. As the title suggests, their art unsettles our understanding of history by proposing that art has the potential to encourage a contoured view of a collective and inclusive society.

The Sharjah Art Foundation Collection is anchored by acquisitions and commissions from more than two decades of the Sharjah Biennial, the Foundation’s year-round exhibitions and other core commissioning programmes. It has since grown into a distinctive collection, enriching the lives of audiences through both local and international exhibitions of significant works of modern and contemporary art. A public collection encompassing a diverse body of more than 1300 works, the Collection spans art movements from the 1920s to the present day in an ever-expanding range of art forms and visual culture.

Overview

Unsettled Objects

Unsettled Objects

Sharjah Art Foundation presents Unsettled Objects, featuring new acquisitions and rarely seen works from the Foundation's Collection; the artists and works on display explore art history’s hidden stories.

Unsettled Objects

Abu Abdallah, Sarah

Sarah Abu Abdallah's work explores issues of obscurity and value, probing the social and cultural conditions of contemporary Saudi Arabia.

Unsettled Objects

Araeen, Rasheed

Known for his formal geometric sculptures made from simple materials, Rasheed Araeen is widely considered to be an early pioneer of minimalism.

Unsettled Objects

Arslan, Yüksel

Mining the depths of the unconscious mind, Yüksel Arslan’s work connects critical thought and spirituality, existing between mythology, science and the visual arts.

Unsettled Objects

Al-Baqsami, Thuraya

Thuraya Al-Baqsami is a visual artist, journalist and writer whose work engages with poetics and politics, feminism and the feminine.

Unsettled Objects

Baumgarten, Lothar

Over the last four and a half decades, Lothar Baumgarten has drawn wide acclaim and respect for his powerful body of work centred on ethnography and anthropology.

Unsettled Objects

Berksoy, Semiha

Placing herself at the centre of her creations, painter Semiha Berksoy did not separate life and art.

Unsettled Objects

Bey, Dawoud

As a photographer and educator, Dawoud Bey is celebrated for his rich, psychologically compelling portraits.

Unsettled Objects

Bhabha, Huma

Huma Bhabha is known for her post-apocalyptic and poetic figurative sculptures, created by using unconventional materials.

Unsettled Objects

Caland, Huguette

Traversing art, design and fashion, Huguette Caland’s interdisciplinary practice encompasses both the figurative and the abstract.

Unsettled Objects

Chakar, Tony

Tony Chakar is an architect, artist and writer whose work incorporates literature, philosophy and theory.

Unsettled Objects

Grigorian, Marcos

A pioneer of modern art in Iran, Marcos Grigorian was an artist, teacher, gallerist, collector and curator.

Unsettled Objects

Hatoum, Mona

Mona Hatoum’s work is an outstanding example of the interweaving of ethical, political and aesthetic issues.

Unsettled Objects

Himid, Lubaina

In her paintings, prints, drawings and installations, Lubaina Himid addresses issues of identity and celebrates black creativity and cultural contributions.

Unsettled Objects

Ibrahim Ishag, Kamala

The work of modernist painter Kamala Ibrahim Ishag challenges the traditional male perspective of art in Sudan, depicting scenes of women’s lives in colours of sun, sand and sky.

Unsettled Objects

Kazem, Mohammed

Mohammed Kazem’s practice is characterised by the use of reductive elements in repeating formats.

Unsettled Objects

Kenawy, Amal

Amal Kenawy’s work explores political, social and feminist issues, primarily in Egypt, and reflects on topics of death and regeneration.

Unsettled Objects

Kentridge, William

William Kentridge is a draughtsman, filmmaker, theatre maker and philosopher whose work addresses histories of violence, erasure, memory and loss.

Unsettled Objects

Klein, Astrid

Astrid Klein is best known for her large-format, black-and-white ‘photoworks’, collages, paintings and neon sculptures.

Unsettled Objects

Kusama, Yayoi

One of Japan’s foremost contemporary artists, Yayoi Kusama has forged a singular practice that spans over six decades.

Unsettled Objects

Madani, Tala

Through painting and animation, Tala Madani’s work raises pertinent questions and offers a critique of gender and politics that reflects on who and what is represented in art.

Unsettled Objects

Paglen, Trevor

In an attempt to envision alternative futures, Trevor Paglen investigates the historical moments in which we are living.

Unsettled Objects

Pacheco, Bruno

Bruno Pacheco’s painting investigates form, colour and space, inviting viewers to engage in dialogue with particular moments or objects.

Unsettled Objects

Rakowitz, Michael

Through his exploration of history and current affairs, Michael Rakowitz creates public projects, installations and events.

Unsettled Objects

Sahib, Prem

Exploring formalism, gender identity through the autobiographical, Prem Sahib's abstract sculptures, installations and paintings are minimalist, with an affinity for simple geometry.

Unsettled Objects

Sarkissian, Hrair

Hrair Sarkissian’s photographs reflect on personal memories, using subjectivity as a way to navigate stories that official histories are unable to tell. Using traditional documentary techniques in large-scale works, he engages the viewer in a profound consideration of what lies behind the surface of the images, thereby re-evaluating larger historical or social narratives.

Unsettled Objects

Shemza, Anwar Jalal

In his paintings, prints and etchings, Anwar Jalal Shemza explored modernism from both Islamic and Western perspectives.

Unsettled Objects

Suleimenova, Saule

Saule Suleimenova uses painting, photography, performance art and installation to navigate traditional Kazakh culture.

Unsettled Objects

Wendt, Lionel

Trained as a lawyer and concert pianist in England, Lionel Wendt took up the medium of photography formally in the 1930s.

Unsettled Objects

Yiadom-Boakye, Lynette

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s oil paintings focus on fictional figures that exist outside of specific times and places.

Unsettled Objects

Zaatari, Akram

Akram Zaatari produces work on a range of interconnected themes, subjects and practices related to excavation, political resistance, and the production and circulation of images in times of war.

Unsettled Objects

Mosallam Zarara, Abdul Hay

Abdul Hay Mosallam Zarara used his work to decry the violent suppression of his homeland and promote international solidarity worldwide.

Unsettled Objects

Mosallam Zarara, Abdul Hay

Abdul Hay Mosallam Zarara used his work, often produced with a sawdust-and-glue relief technique, to decry the violent suppression of his Palestinian homeland and promote international solidarity worldwide.