All posts tagged: Isabelle van den Eynde

In conversation V: Hassan Sharif

Hassan Sharif lives and works in Dubai. He has made a vital contribution to conceptual art and experimental practice in the Middle East through 40 years of performances, installations, drawing, painting, and assemblage. In his early artistic maturation, Sharif rejected calligraphic abstraction, which was becoming the predominant art discourse in the region in the 1970s. Instead, he pursued a pointedly different art vocabulary, drawing on the non-elitism and intermedia of Fluxus and the potential in British Constructionism’s systemic processes of making. Sharif graduated from the Byam Shaw School of Art, London, in 1984 and returned to the UAE shortly after. He set about staging artistic interventions and the first exhibitions of contemporary art in Sharjah, as well as translating art historical texts and manifestos into Arabic, so as to provoke a local audience into engaging with contemporary art discourse. In addition to his own practice, Sharif has encouraged and supported several generations of artists in the Emirates. He is a founding member of the Emirates Fine Art Society (founded 1980) and of the Art Atelier …

FNND’s favourite stands at Art Dubai

[First published on Ocula.com] In its ninth edition, Art Dubai came and went in a flash. Amid 92 galleries, talks, new discoveries of works and artists, there was an underlying sense that the fair was coming into its own. Art Dubai, along with the Sharjah Biennial have led and informed the art scene in the UAE for the last few years. Now, with the expansion of Alserkal Avenue and the imminent opening of the first museum in Abu Dhabi, the fair not only attracts curators and collectors from around the world but also has a growing infrastructure across the city to support it. As the fair matures, it moves closer towards one of global and regional relevance and importance, bringing access to artists, curators, writers and works that may otherwise be overlooked. From conversations with gallerists and dealers who have been on the trail from Armory (with its Middle East focus this year) and Art Basel in Hong Kong, it was understood that whilst sales may not have been fantastic, this year’s Art Dubai brought …

FNND focus on Art Dubai 2014

It is always interesting to see the clean edit of a gallery’s rota of artists in the commercial element of an art fair … but the fun stuff happens in the rapid exchanges of information, the intense but fleeting conversations, and importantly – the non-profit sections/projects. As Art Dubai develops its non-profit areas each year, the programming has, perhaps inevitably, become more rigorous. Its geographical location – at the crossroads of cultures, aesthetics, politics and religions –  gives it a unique position to shed light on some new and relatively un-explored territories when it comes to contemporary art but also, to initiate some weighty discussions. The Art Dubai team seem to make the most of every opportunity that a commercial fair in a burgeoning art scene can provide, building a non-profit programme that stretches from newly commissioned works in incubus stages to a series of public talks, radio station, book launches and performances. Drawing on the conversations and connections that are made and grow year on year, it has become not only a fair that attracts increasingly established galleries, but also a meeting place …

FNND’s March at Alserkal Avenue

For those of you not based in the UAE, March in Dubai is commonly referred to as a ‘March Madness’. All the galleries have openings, Sharjah Art Foundation hosts the March Meetings or the Sharjah Biennale (depending on the year) and there are 3 fairs: Art Dubai, SIKKA (non-profit) and Design Days Dubai. Below are a couple of FNND’s highlights from the galleries at Al Serkal Avenue and swiftly following, some interesting and surprising works found at Art Dubai. Top of the list is Isabelle van den Eynde with the playful work from Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian. It’s a relief to experience a completely immersive exhibition in a commercial gallery in Dubai – this is an exhibition that you can keep going back to again and again. Through to every corner of the space is evidence of the extent of the artists’ spirited collaboration. The immediacy and detailed tactility of the works is balanced with a weight of subject matter and the accumulation of experiences and time that led to the creation /collation …

A whisper of a breeze – end of desert summer and a stroll to see some art

The desert summer is leaving us for another year and the air is beginning to feel cool (ish), the galleries are re-opening and Fat Nancy took a stroll around Al Quoz and found an exhibition that re-ignited an interest in calligraphy in contemporary art – Pouran Jinchi, The Third Line. It brought to mind other artists working in a very similar way and left an itching to get back to old notes and dig out some favourites – in particular fellow Iranians,  Azra Aghighi Bakhshayeshi, Golnaz Fathi and Mohamed Bozorgi (ref. images at the end of article). You may not read or understand Arabic, but there is a musicality to the pieces and something meditative about the repetitious nature of their making that draws the viewer in. It’s understood that even a native speaker would struggle to define any actual letters in most of the works – someone once described the effect as a kind of whispering, the paintings murmuring to the viewer. The message is almost inaudible and they hint towards meaning rather than explicitly …