With industrial charm, the 29th floor of the W Doha is the city’s latest dedicated art space and is currently hosting Emergeast’s Currents exhibition. With both entities dedicated to promoting, showcasing and connecting talent with young collectors, the new space “ties in with our branding, which is industrial and current, and really resonates with our target audience,” says Emergeast co-founder Nikki Meftah.
As Emergeast is an online platform, it values flexible and fresh venues in which to gather collectors and physically present artworks. Currents, featuring all female artists (eight Arab and eight Iranian), “is a great opportunity to bring together prolific artists, many of which we launched with in 2014, and push the idea that women really are at the forefront of the art landscape in the GCC,” says Dima Abdul Kader, also co-founder of Emergeast.
Indicating that the female artists’ subject matter is what sets them apart and is representative of both collector and market interests, highlights of the 30-work show include the new series Yeebhom by Qatari Bouthayna Al Muftah, a gestural series of black and white abstract canvases which take inspiration from a song that women would sing to the sea to calm the waves to ensure the safe return of the pearl divers. Then, lying in wait at the back of the exhibition, are Iranian Rabee Baghshani’s digital prints on canvas depicting Qajar-inspired figures on oversized playing cards, a playful and refreshing take on tradition.
Given that the artists were brought together to forge links and create a cross-cultural dialogue, the accessible, affordable works are diverse in media and theme, with offerings that appeal to a wide set of tastes. Currents “speaks to a Qatari audience,” says Meftah, and sets the tone for Art29 as a space ready to contribute to the Qatari art scene, with previous exhibitions including The Legacy of Zaha Hadid and the W’s hosting of the New York Times Art For Tomorrow Conference for the last three years.
While Art29’s upcoming programme is still under wraps, Abdul Kader hints at what is to come for Emergeast’s next pop-up. “We host auctions, events, exhibitions… and we are now maybe looking into d3 [Dubai Design District],” she says, the sweet spot of their yuppie generation audience in Dubai.
Currents runs until 20 May at Art29, W Doha, Qatar. For more information visit emergeast.com