Upcoming Exhibitions at Alserkal Avenue
Courtesy of Alserkal Art Week.
Alserkal Arts Foundation
New Waves: Mohamed Melehi and the Casablanca Art School Archives
Alserkal Arts Foundation presents New Waves: Mohamed Melehi and the Casablanca Art School Archives in Concrete. Curated by Morad Montazami and Madeleine de Colnet, the exhibition tells the story of the radical Casablanca Art School, retracing Melehi’s career chronologically - from the 1950s to the 1980s - as well as including some of the artist’s more recent works.
Melehi is widely regarded as a central figure within postcolonial Moroccan art and transnational modernism. Previously unseen works and archives present Melehi as a painter, photographer, muralist, graphic and urban designer, art teacher, and cultural activist. In the spirit of Melehi’s efforts to bring art into the public sphere, the exhibition programme extends beyond the Concrete space to include activations in The Yard and throughout the city of Dubai.
New Waves: Mohamed Melehi and the Casablanca Art School Archives is presented by Alserkal Arts Foundation. Curated by Zamân Books & Curating, the original exhibition was produced by The Mosaic Rooms, A.M. Qattan Foundation.
With additional thanks to MACAAL and Crown Fine Art for their assistance.
Concrete | alserkalavenue.ae
Rula Halawani | For You Mother
23 March - 30 April
Jerusalem-based Rula Halawani’s new series is inspired by her mother’s words: “Even when we die and leave this world, our spirits will remain floating in the skies of our country, Palestine” - which referenced the 1948 war (the Nakba) and the June war of 1967. “Those words confused me as a child,” says the artist. “But to my mother, the spirits of Palestinians will stay in the skies of Palestine despite the military occupation of the land, death, and expulsion.” Halawani translates her mother’s words into photographs made from archival portraits of people who lived in Palestine before 1948, fading them and collaging them into images of the country’s landscape.
Warehouse 11 | ayyamgallery.com
23 March - 10 May
“In André Butzer’s fourth solo exhibition with Carbon 12 in Dubai, UAE, his newest series of paintings explore beautiful ranges of colour, resulting in an almost divine rhythm within the works. People will learn a lot from these works, nobody knows what exactly, because it’s too early to say, and in general, it’s not something about which you can say - rather you can experience and react to as a whole human being or leftover being.” Dr. Arno Gruen
Warehouse 37 | carbon12.art
Group exhibition | New Japan Photo - Issue 10
Until 28 March
A curated selection of works by emerging contemporary Japanese photographers, New Japan Photo - Issue 10 is presented in collaboration with Tokyo-based Einstein Studio. The works are showcased alongside larger images which have won the Japan Photo Award, an annual competition and award bringing together emerging and award-winning Japanese photographers who are leaving a mark on the international contemporary fine art photography scene.
Warehouse 69 | chikaspace.com
Asma M’Naouar | Recent Paintings
23 March - 7 May
Asma M’Naouar’s first solo exhibition in Dubai explores the Tunisian artist’s longstanding investigation into movement, materiality, and abstraction through intense gestural and emotional works. Known for using physical strength while working on many different layers of coated oil paint, M’Naouar is inspired by the American movement of “action painting”, and confronts the canvas in search of order and sense, without leaving anything to chance - seeking to create a metaphysical energy.
Warehouse 23 | galerieelmarsa.com
Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde
Mohammed Kazem | Infinite Angles
23 March - 20 May
Throughout his career, Emirati artist Mohammed Kazem has been interested in finding new ways to depict things that are difficult to express visually. This exhibition presents his new series of paintings entitled Sound of Light (2019-20). On construction sites in Dubai and Jeddah, Kazem photographed confluences of light and architecture, endeavouring to depict it on canvases using acrylic and pen, augmented by the complicit “strokes” of an industrial roller.
Green Art Gallery
Solo exhibition | Maryam Hoseini
23 March - 9 May
For her first solo exhibition with the gallery, Maryam Hoseini has created a body of work that builds upon her ongoing curiosity about space and sequence as a formula for a narrative. Examining the human body and its relationship to physical space, violence, and stereotype, the paintings act as counterparts to the viewer. An abstraction of the body itself, Hoseini’s works become our inverse with hands on their hips, standing contrapposto, bent over, and filled with layered scenes of intimacy, play, fear, displacement, and humour.
Warehouse 28 | gagallery.com
Michael John Whelan | Nocturnes
23 March - 7 May
Michael John Whelan has long been concerned with environmental changes relating to historical events and future projections. Investigating humanity's physical effects and inherent mutability, he explores places and phenomena that resonate with a past or future trauma. Despite the complexity and gravity of the subjects, the projects’ physical manifestations are often characterised by their minimal, yet arresting aesthetics. Nocturnes is the artist’s fourth solo presentation at Grey Noise, Dubai.
Warehouse 24 | greynoise.org
Gulf Photo Plus
Group exhibition | All What I Want is Life
Until 18 April
The Arab world experienced several protest movements in 2019, and while their political and economic demands differed, at the core of all the movements was a demand for a better future. This show takes its title from graffiti scrawled across a wall in Baghdad that encapsulates this demand: ‘All What I Want is Life.’ Featuring photographs, videos, and writings by artists who live amongst the communities embroiled in the protest movements, the exhibition (curated by Raz Hansrod and Mohamed Somji) offers varying and refreshing perspectives of the protests, serving as an antidote to mainstream media’s simplistic and trope-ridden depictions. Warehouse 36 | gulfphotoplus.com
Ishara Art Foundation
Amar Kanwar | Such A Morning
Until 20 May
In Amar Kanwar’s feature-length film, a renowned mathematics professor retires, cutting his career short unexpectedly, and retreats to the wilderness to live in an abandoned train carriage. Thus starts an epic sensory journey into a new plane of emotional resonance between the self and the world around. Over time, the professor records his epiphanies and hallucinations in an almanac of the dark, an examination of 49 types of darkness. The narrative continues beyond the film into an installation in which the professor continues to write his letters – towards a research project with diverse artistic, pedagogic, metaphysical and political collaborations. These become the rubric for an evolving project, which are at the core of the series of Letters. The seven Letters presented here contain 17 film projections, 62 handmade papers, and texts.
Warehouse 3 | ishara.org
Jean-Paul Najar Foundation
Group exhibition | Drawing the Line
A universal form of mark-making, the use of line in contemporary practice can be enigmatic. The exhibition, which investigates radical abstraction, explores the relational and communicative potential of the linear form. This includes its ability to explore space whether pictorial, sculptural or, architectural, and its power to alter the physical, sensory, and temporal experience of that space. Artists include Martin Barré, Daniel Dezeuze, Alain Kirili, Jean-Paul Najar, Richard Nonas, Stephen Rosenthal, Antonio Semeraro, Keith Sonnier, and Susanna Tanger.
Warehouse 48 | jpnajarfoundation.com
Ishmael Randall Weeks | Boundary Space
23 March - 21 May
Lima-based Ishmael Randall Weeks presents sculptures and two dimensional works that explore the impact of cultural displacement, and the rise of new urbanistic identities. Made from recycled adobe, mineral substrates, rattan screens, mud, glass, and metal, his works depict a world that navigates between the archaic and the contemporary, deconstructing notions of structure, fragility, form, popular culture, and identity within the context of new cities.
Warehouse 21 | lawrieshabibi.com
Leila Heller Gallery
Until 23 May
Francesca Pasquali | Material Anatomy
The Italian artist’s fourth exhibition with the gallery features wall reliefs and site-specific installations, and intricate sculptural structures made of manufactured plastic materials, prompting a dialogue with the region’s unique and nuanced relationship to petrochemicals. Tightly bound or folded together, the often monochrome structures follow rhythmic configurations, recalling coral and microscopic anatomies.
Melis Buyruk | Habitat
Melis Buyruk’s UAE debut showcases nine porcelain works where a ceramic topography of intricate flora and fauna are encased in wooden boxes, and granted their own habitat. In a mastery of porcelain, the traditionally feminised and overlooked art form associated with domestic life is re-interpreted as a medium that points to bio-futurist tensions.
23 March - 15 September
Abdul Qader Al Rais | Nuqta: The Diacritic
The gallery presents its first solo exhibition of the works of the pioneering Emirati artist Abdul Qader Al Rais, which features a series of his paintings across the third period of his work, marked by his engagement with bringing abstraction and local cultural heritage into dialogue. Al Rais incorporates the contours of calligraphy as well as the rocky cliffs, deserts, and shores of the region’s unique natural world into his rigorous study of the fundamental elements of colour, form, and light.
Warehouse 86/87 | leilahellergallery.com
Michael John Whelan | Primary Organs
Primary Organs by former Alserkal Residency resident Michael John Whelan tells diverse stories connected to the Arabian Gulf body of water. Through its slow-paced, meditative imagery, the film explores local relationships to the sea, petro-state neocolonialism, and the roles of complicity and gesture within our climate crisis.
Alserkal Arts Foundation, Warehouse 50/51
New National Dish: UAE
24 January - 4 April
This exhibition by the artist collective Center for Genomic Gastronomy consists of a set of stories, recipes, tasters, and flags detailing four directions the national dish (and by extension the nation) may take due to the environmental, economic and social impacts of climate change. In this forecasting piece, they imagine a new national dish for the UAE based on the principle concept that eaters shape the Earth through the foods and stories they celebrate, cultivate, and propagate. Over the next 30 years, recipes will adapt to ecological challenges, political and economic uncertainty, and changes in supply chains. How, in turn, will these elements of the food system change based on our new preferences, tastes, and stories? Find out, and sample what could become the UAE’s new national dishes.
The exhibition, produced by Alserkal and inspired by FOOD: 'Bigger than the Plate' at the V&A, has been generously supported by the British Council, DCMS and GREAT through the UK-Gulf Culture and Sport programme.
Warehouse 48 | alserkalavenue.ae
Group exhibition | Sacred Spring
23 March - 23 June
Sacred Spring features a collection of Shona Sculptures by six internationally-celebrated Zimbabwean sculptors, including Dominic Benhura, Lovemore Bonjisi, Royal Katiyo, Tawanda Makore, Bywell Sango, and David White. Curated by Sharon Harvey and Demitris Petrides, these works by leading Shona sculptors have been selected to carve the intricate relationship between Shona traditions and African Modernism.
Warehouse 35 | showcaseuae.com
Marc Goodwin | ATLAS 2020
Until 21 April
ATLAS 2020 is an exhibition of photographs by Marc Goodwin, which celebrates the power of architectural diversity. Goodwin’s images span extraordinary built environments in Germany, Japan, Spain, and the UAE. As Dubai prepares to open its Expo site to the world, the monumental role of architecture in shaping lived experiences feels timely to reflect on.
Warehouse 79 | svenm.com
The Third Line
23 March - 30 May
Group exhibition | There Is Fiction In The Space Between
The group exhibition presents seven pairings of artworks by 14 different artists, which tell stories of aesthetics, ideologies, irony, fables, and humour. Their coupling creates a space powered only by suggestion, and enables a quest into re-imagining, re-defining, and re-shaping the natural facts presented before their viewer.
Lamya Gargash | Sahwa
Sahwa was conceived in 2019 after the artist examined archeological artifacts held in the conservator laboratories of the Al Ain Museum. This project is an exploration of space and time; a true ode to the human experience and its heritage. In line with her practice, Lamya Gargash was allowed to take a closer look into this world of preservation and restoration in a bid to document neglected objects that witnessed human history.
Warehouse 78/80 | thethirdline.com