While almost everything slows down to a halt during the hot summer months in the UAE, the same can’t be said of the country’s vibrant art scene. Throughout June, July and August, there is an exciting diversity of exhibitions to entertain even the most discerning art lovers. Luxos selects this summer’s unmissable highlights.
The work of Zoulikha Bouabdellah, an Algerian artist living in Paris, is on view in Gallery Isabelle Van Den Eynde (formerly B21) from June 14 to August 15. The gallery’s new addition is earning accolades worldwide for her refreshing and compelling take on advocacy and acceptance. Her Dubai exhibition, ‘Free me from my chains’ displays a large-scale work in neon that uses Arabic lettering spelling ‘hobb’ or ‘love’, to evoke the sensual yet pious movements of the body (www.ivde.net).
Until June 30, Ayyam Gallery Dubai gives ample space to its second ‘Shahab Uprising’ exhibition, which puts the gallery’s emerging artists from the Levant into the limelight. Photographer and filmmaker Ammar Al Beik’s stunning black and white images embellished with colour details are alone well worth the visit (www.ayyamgallery.com).
The XVA, one of the city’s more established and historic galleries, displays their pick of the season in their exhibition beginning on June 13th, appropriately named “Summer Collection”. It features works from prominent XVA artists, such as Emirati–born Maitha bin Demithan and Sameer Redd (www.xvagallery.com). Reflecting local life is something the XVA are experts at, so if you miss the summer run, you can return in September for a second viewing.
Photography aficionados will be richly rewarded by a visit to newly popular Carbon 12, and cornerstone of the local art scene The Third Line. From June 10 to September 25, Carbon 12 is hosting ‘Blue skie’d and clear’, a group photo exhibition of internationally renowned artists including Jamie Baldridge, Birgit Graschopf, Yuko Ichikawa, Hazem Mahdy, Maximilian Pramatarov, and Maria Maeser (www.carbon12dubai). Meanwhile, until June 17th The Third Line is showcasing ‘Islands,’ a collection of works by Abbas Akhavan. For the Canadian’s first solo exhibition in the region, Akhavan offers a unique look into Dubai and neighbouring countries through some original aerial shots (www.thethirdline.com).
Vibrant capital Abu Dhabi is also holding its own in the creative arena with a host of events debuting in Abu Dhabi. Head to Acento, a New-York style loft, where you can peruse their permanent collection of fine art in the fields of painting, sculpture, objets d’arts, hand painting and furniture design, authored by artists originating in the US, Spain and Mexico, as well as up-and-coming regional talent (www.acento.com).
Finally, make sure you take the time to visit a unique exhibition, ‘A story of Islamic embroidery in nomadic and urban traditions,’ which runs until July 28. Hosted by Gallery One at Emirates Palace, the exhibition includes more than 200 rare and majestic textiles, including a wealth of embroideries and decorative objects from Central Asia, which have never been exhibited in the region before. (www.artsabudhabi.ae).
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