Friday, August 9, 2013

RE: Orient modern art exhibition at Barjeel Art Foundation

I had gone to the Maraya Art Centre to check out an exhibition I knew was on in the Maraya Art Gallery, and stumbled across the Barjeel Art Foundation by accident. I'm glad I still had time that night to spare for this gallery, because it had some really amazing stuff on display.

Still Life with Fish by Abdul-Halim Radwi

I had no idea that an Arab modernist art scene existed, but one apparently did. The exhibition focuses on the art from the '50s, '60s and '70s, when the Middle East was undergoing serious cultural and political transitions.

Nocturne by Seif Wanly

The works on display include a couple of nice sculptures, but the broad range of paintings in a variety of media predominate in the exhibition, in styles ranging from cubism to expressionism.

Watermelon Sellers by Hafidh al Droubi

This is not typical of what most people might imagine when Middle Eastern art is discussed. Although painted according to Western modernist traditions, the choices of subjects (and, occasionally, medium) do, however, betray a regional origin.

Untitled by Saadi al Kaabi

The exhibition features select modernist art works by an ensemble of regional masters, including founders of institutes and grantees of state funerals, over the three decades. As such, it would be unfair to compare it to most other exhibitions in the UAE, but I have to say it's one of the best I've seen in recent memory.

Untitled by Samir Rafi

RE: Orient is on until November 22nd, and I highly recommend a leisurely perusal.


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