Officially launching last night in Dubai with a cocktail at the gallery followed by a private dinner for 300 VIP guests and collectors on the beach, the Leila Heller Gallery made a chic impact on the art scene in the city.
The event, held in collaboration with Harvey Nichols Dubai Fine Jewellery, marked the beginning of its debut exhibitions too, presenting distinct and original showings by the artists Ghada Amer and Wim Delvoye. The Dubai location represents a first by a New York based gallery and at 15,000 square feet, and is the largest in the region.
“Our goal is to mount a series of exhibitions by major international artists. I am very excited to have exhibitions by artists of Wim and Ghada’s stature for our opening.” Said Leila ahead of the opening.
“Earth. Love. Fire,” marks the first solo exhibition of works by Ghada Amer in the Arab world in nearly two decades. Curated by Dr. Shiva Balaghi, the exhibit introduces her artistic foray into ceramics, with works made during a two year residency at Greenwich House Pottery in NYC. In a second exhibit, Leila Heller Gallery Dubai is presenting the first showcase in the UAE of the artist Wim Delvoye. Delvoye’s art at once upends the narrow strictures of the art world, and a fusion of deeply philosophical ideas, an experimental approach to the use of materials, and a deep immersion in the techniques of craftsmanship. The neoconceptual artist brings together elements across time and space to create pieces that are at once shocking and stunningly beautiful, immersing himself in local cultures. “I don’t feel I belong anywhere,” he explains. “I feel like a nomad. So I take inspiration from different cultures, whilst being very respectful of the places I go to.”
Leila Heller Gallery runs exhibitions by Ghada Amer and Wim Delvoye until January 4, 2016