The new Dubai art season kicks into full gear tomorrow (September 15) with Alserkal Avenue’s Galleries Night. Galleries at the Al Quoz industrial-style complex will once again all throw open their doors for a social evening of new exhibitions showcasing the best of the region’s burgeoning creative community as well a selection of international artists.
Here are our top ten exhibits to see during Alserkal Avenue’s Galleries Night. make sure you tick them all off your list.
Austrian Bernhard Buhmann’s second solo show, The Pretenders, is a series of colourful paintings depicting bizarre little creatures reminiscent of medieval court jesters. It’s clear that with their masks and elaborate garb, they are here to ‘play for the crowd.’ Buhmann’s characters hold a mirror up to our social media obsessed society and the self-styled fictions we ‘curate’ when we choose to snap and exhibit selfies on a digital stage.
The gallery will be hosting Founding Act, a group exhibition of ‘art furniture.’ Driven by questioning form, technique, materials and purpose, these artists have elevated the functional props of our everyday lives into contemplative artworks. Look out for the work of Tom Price (pictured above) and Sabine.
Gulf Photo Plus
GPP has collaborated with photo agency Majority World, to showcase the work of five photographers from often overlooked parts of the world including Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Keep your eye out for the work of South African Neo Ntsoma (pictured above). Ntsoma, the first woman recipient of the CNN Africa Journalist Award for Photography in 2004, uses photography to challenge longstanding patriarchal depictions of women as vulnerable and victims.
Green Art Gallery
Green Art Gallery is presenting Works on Paper: Hikayat, a collection of over 50 works of art by modern Arab artists. With a focus on drawing and storytelling, this incredible collection will give viewers a window in the minds of the artists from different Middle East countries including Egypt, Syria and Lebanon. Several of the works serve as commentaries on daily life or turmoil witnessed by the artist in the last few decades and perhaps more relevant that ever in this quick-changing and often unstable region.
Grey Noise hosts the first solo show of Mariam Suhail, a Pakistani-born artist who is quickly gaining recognition on the international art scene. Her show, Accidental Excavations, takes bizarre, seemingly inconsequential snippets of everyday life and carefully dissects, reframes and gives them life as objects and ideas.
Curated by London-based William Lunn, Act and Application, brings together six international artists to attempt to reexamine how we understand photography as an art form. Here traditional photographic conventions give way to experiment, interrogation or chance. David Rickard’s work (pictured above) examines our relationship to space in architectural terms.
Mojo’s Tumoil x 4 is a group show of four contemporary artists from Syria, Egypt and Jordan who are documenting their changing societies in the unfinished ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings. The push-pull of the shifting political and social landscapes especially in relation to artist freedoms is the core of this exhibit. Egyptian Hany Rashed’s works (pictured above) are critical observations and personal experiences produced in the aftermath of the 2011 revolution.
Salsali Private Museum
The ongoing solo exhibition by Iranian artist Amir Hossein Zanjani tackles the philosophical and social idea of submission to power. Bold, vibrant expressionistic strokes depict the armies of brutal dictatorships and their willing participants.
Dubai-based Mike Arnold brings our built environment to life with “From the Art of Architecture to the Architecture of Art”. In an attempt to get the viewer to see our designed, architecture world in a new light, Arnold’s mono-prints are bursting off the page with layered, textured brushstrokes and bring attention to the interconnectedness of structure and artistic expression.
Give your eyes a break and head over to The Fridge for an aural treat. Showcasing the talent of local musicians through performance, you can expect to see drum performer Sherif Moghazy, pianist Chris Van Der Westhuizen, quirky lyricists David Beats Goliath and indie-folk troubadours Physical Graffiti.
Alserkal Avenue Galleries Night on September 15 will simultaneously see galleries open their doors with a VIP preview from 5pm-7pm and a public opening from 7pm onwards. The evening will welcome the creative community to the unveiling of contemporary art exhibitions and events to mark the opening of the 2014-2015 arts season.
Images: Courtesy of the Galleries and Alserkal Avenue