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Finding solace in art

In the time of pandemic, it’s important to divert your mind and get creative. If you’re an art enthusiast, do not miss out on these art galleries in the UAE

ELMARSA GALLERY

Elmarsa was founded in 1994, in Tunis and expanded to Dubai in 2015. Specialised in both modern and contemporary North African art, it represents recognised 20th-century artists as well as mid-career artists. Elmarsa participates in several international art fairs in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Paris, London, Marrakech, Miami, and New York.

LATEST EXHIBITIONS
Elmarsa Gallery Dubai is pleased to present Nuances of black and white, an exhibition presenting a group of artists using black and white and the nuanced shades in between. On view at the gallery in Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, a selection of artworks by Abdelkader Guermaz, Abdulaziz Ashour, Ali Tnani, Aly Ben Salem, Atef Maatallah, Charles Hussein Zenderoudi, Gouider Triki, Halim Karabibene, Khaled Ben Slimane, Mahjoub Ben Bella, Mouna Karray, Nabil Saouabi, Nja Mahdaoui, Omar Bey, Rachid Koraichi and Raeda Ashour. Nuances of black and white juxtapose works that range from realism to abstraction to modern art, comprising a range of media including painting, drawing, engraving, ceramic, mosaic and photography, shining a light on the unique aesthetics of each artist. Though many of these artists are known for their bold utilisation of colour, their focus on the line, texture, and shadow shapes a more nuanced understanding of their work. In highlighting each artist’s individualized style, this exhibition encourages a conversation across Contemporary and Modern, formal and spiritual movements. Exhibiting artists include Abdelkader Guermaz, Abdulaziz Ashour, Ali Tnani, Aly Ben Salem, Atef Maatallah, Charles Hussein Zenderoudi, Gouider Triki, Halim Karabibene, Khaled Ben Slimane, Mahjoub Ben Bella, Mouna Karray, Nabil Saouabi, Nja Mahdaoui, Omar Bey, Rachid Koraichi, and Raeda Ash.

JAMEEL ARTS CENTRE

Jameel Arts Centre presents curated solo and group exhibitions, drawn both from the Art Jameel Collection and through regional and international collaborations. The centre is a 10,000sqm, three-storey, multidisciplinary space designed by UK-based practice Serie Architects. It also includes dedicated projects and events spaces; a rooftop terrace designed for installations, film screenings and events; and a restaurant and shop, and espresso bar. Located by the creek in Jaddaf Waterfront, one of Dubai Holding’s mixeduse destinations, the Centre’s galleries are complemented by the Jameel Library, an open-access research centre dedicated to JAMEEL ARTS CENTRE CONTACT DETAILS +971 4 873 9800 hello@artjameel.org artists and cultural movements in the Gulf states and beyond. The Centre serves as a hub for educational and research initiatives for diverse audiences. Its wider programming embraces partnerships with local, regional and international artists, curators and organisations.

LATEST EXHIBITIONS
• Artist’s Rooms: June 10, 2020 – January 3, 2021, series marks its return with three new solo exhibitions by influential artists, including the Middle East premiere of a twochannel film installation by Larissa Sansour that debuted at the Venice Biennale; a set of 60 etchings by Taysir Batniji; and an audiovisual installation by multi-award-winning Lawrence Abu Hamdan.
• Michael Rakowitz: March 11 – November 22, 2020. Renowned Iraqi-American artist Michael Rakowitz’s first major solo exhibition in Asia and the Middle East.
• Metropolis by Lubna Chowdhary: Until October 1, 2020, a 1000-object installation from the Art Jameel Collection, is on display in the Jameel’s Lobby.
• Jaddaf Aloud Online: continues to engage audiences at home with a programme of interactive, artist-led workshops for all ages; music performances; a directory featuring local artisans; and a ‘guided tour’ of diverse Dubai-based eateries that can fulfil home deliveries.

LEILA HELLER GALLERY

Leila Heller Gallery was established over three decades ago in New York by Leila Taghiania-Milani Heller, as one of the first galleries highlighting Middle Eastern artists. In November 2015, Leila Heller Gallery opened its first international location in Dubai’s Alserkal Avenue. At 14,000sqft, the state-of-the-art gallery features three exhibition spaces, making it the largest gallery in the UAE. Forte Leila Heller Gallery has gained worldwide recognition as a pioneer in promoting creative dialogue and exchange between Western artists and Middle Eastern, Central and Southeast Asian artists. It has garnered a reputation for identifying and cultivating the careers of artists leaving a lasting impact on contemporary art and culture. The gallery showcases leading regional and international artists, many of whom will be presenting their work in the Middle East for the first time, and is dedicated to supporting the evolving practise of established artists. Currently representing a diverse roster of Western and Middle Eastern artists, the gallery is also active in the American, European and Middle Eastern secondary art markets.

LATEST EXHIBITIONS
Currently, the gallery is hosting three solo exhibitions. In “Habitat,” Melis Buyruk’s debut solo show in the UAE, large-scale porcelain masterworks create a ceramic topography of intricate flora and fauna encased in lit-up wooden boxes. The traditionally feminized and overlooked art form associated with domestic life is reinterpreted and points to bio-futurist tensions. Italian Sculptor Francesca Pasquali creates wall reliefs and site-specific installations using manufactured plastic materials such as straws and neoprene in “Material Anatomy,” prompting a dialogue with the LEILA HELLER GALLERY region’s unique and nuanced relationship to petrochemicals. Tightly bound or folded together, the often monochrome structures follow rhythmic configurations, and recalls coral and microscopic anatomies. Reza Derakshani’s “Emanations”, is a semiretrospective of his work, and recalls forgotten tales and symbols of Iran’s cultural heritage through a rich iconography drawing from medieval Persian poetry, literature, miniature painting, and sacred architectural sites laden with meaning. Celebrating both ornamentation and colour fields, the work finds space for figural representation in abstract aesthetics.

THE THIRD LINE

Founded in 2005, by the gallery’s current directors—Sunny Rahbar and Claudia Cellini—and businessman and UAE’s diplomat Omar Ghobash, The Third Line promotes contemporary Middle Eastern art and artist sat the local, regional, and international level. With a unique artist roster mainly comprised of Middle Eastern, North African, and South Asian artists, The Third Line has fast become a distinct platform for established and emerging talent of the region and its diaspora. Alongside its usual business, the gallery hosts programmes showcasing alternative art to foster interest, discourse, and artistic development around contemporary art, film, music, and literature in the region. Pushing boundaries, the gallery is first in Dubai to show video installations. TheThird Line’s library publishes yearly books and monographs by and about the artists its rosters. The Third Line represents over 25 artists working in a broad range of disciplines from across the Middle East. Included on the gallery’s roster of established and emerging artists are prominent Emiratis such as Farah Al Qasimi, as well as internationally acclaimed- Iranian artistS such as Monir Shahroudy Farman farmaian and Farhad Moshiri, the Egyptian photographer Youssef Nabil, and Lebanese photographer and filmmaker Fouad Elkoury. Also represented by the gallery are established artists connected to the region such as the London-based Bangladeshi sculptor Rana Begum, Iranian-American artist Pouran Jinchi, and the Eurasian art collective Slavs and Tatars.

LATEST EXHIBITIONS
In 2020, The Third Line will be participating in Art Dubai with a solo presentation by the acclaimed photographer, Hassan Hajjaj. Meanwhile, the gallery will also be opening two shows: a group exhibition titled ‘There Is Fiction In The Space Between’ with a selection of works by a few of the gallery’s represented artists as well as a solo show by Emirati photographer, Lamya Gargash, featuring her new series of work ‘Sahwa’ which was recently shown as part of the group exhibition at Abu Dhabi Art’s ‘Gateway: Fragments, Yesterday and Today’.

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