4 Must-See Art Exhibitions In The UAE This Weekend

BY Ayesha Shaikh / Dec 21 2017 / 21:12 PM

From a wealth of artworks on view across Dubai galleries to poignant shows in Abu Dhabi, here's where you can feast your eyes this winter

4 Must-See Art Exhibitions In The UAE This Weekend
Images courtesy of the galleries and artists
Artworks among those on view at the ongoing UAE exhibitions

Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai

Exhibition title: 'My Place Is The Placeless' - Until 7 January

This is New York-based Iranian artist Shahpour Pouyan’s third solo exhibition in Dubai. This revelatory show of sculptures hark back to a genetic ancestry test that Pouyan took four years ago, which traced his lineage back to 33 countries across various regions. At the core is a large-scale cuboid structure laid with 33 ceramic domes, all references to historic and religious monuments in Pouyan’s countries of origin and showing how identity goes beyond the confines of race, nationality and ethnicity. Each is richly colourful and made from a different type of clay to evoke a sense of diversity, aiding Pouyan’s “archaeology of self.” He also explores self-portraiture through digitally manipulated figures such as coins and manuscripts found in imagery from ancient empires. This is a thoughtful survey at a time of political paranoia and closing borders. Lawrieshabibi.com. Tel. +97143469906

Lawrie Shabibi

Glazed ceramic dome by Shahpour Pouyan 

Warehouse 421, Abu Dhabi

Exhibition title: ‘In The Making’ - Until 11 February

Curated by British designers Barber and Jay Osgerby, this travelling exhibition previously shown at The Design Museum in London, makes its regional debut, presenting objects in mid-manufacture stage. The duo has sourced new objects known to the region: oud lent by Abu Dhabi-based institute Bait Al Oud a cricket bat, even a MacBook, all in their unfinished form. Jay will also give a masterclass on design. Warehouse421.ae. Tel. +97126768803

Warehouse 421

Barber and Jay Osgerby. Tennis Ball

The Third Line, Dubai

Exhibition title: ‘Al Sawaber’ - Until 20 January

Kuwaiti artist Tarek Al-Ghoussein’s third solo exhibition in Dubai draws its name from a government-housing complex in Kuwait that’s awaiting demolition. Curated by Salwa Mikdadi, this new body of photographs shows the space as it is —walking viewers through its various rooms laden with items such as mattresses, chairs, lighting fixtures, old files and paintings —all dust-ridden and broken. The aim is not to criticise but commemorate a historic site and those who once lived there. A deeply moving array of images that meditate on how identity is shaped through time, inaccessibility, and loss, themes that hit close to home for Al-Ghoussein’s Palestinian homeland. Thethirdline.com. Tel. +97143411367

The Third Line

Tarek Al Ghoussein. Al-Sawaber. 2015-2017. Digital-print. 30x40cm

Opera Gallery, Dubai

Exhibition title: ‘Opposite Attracts’ - Until 21 December 

The Dubai gallery draws the year to a close with a show that brings together French and Austrian artists Pascal Haudressy and Alfred Haberpointner, ‘opposites’ in their portrayal of contemporary art. Where Haudressy’s dark, eerie sculptures and video installations play with light and shadow to depict themes like nature, Haberpointner explores textures with his use of stained wood and metal. Works on view include Haudressy’s haunting video projection of a corbeau resting on a barren tree and a triptyque of human organs, and Haberpointner’s wooden objects featuring jagged lines and thick swirls of colour. Operagallery.com/Dubai. Tel. +97143230909

Opera Gallery

Pascal Haudressy. Lungs. 2009. Numeric loop on screen