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Wed, 16 Aug

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Christie’s Headquarters in St. James’s

Christie’s to host the Largest Exhibition of Arab Art in London

Christie’s to host the Largest Exhibition of Arab Art in London
Christie’s to host the Largest Exhibition of Arab Art in London

Time & Location

16 Aug 2023, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Christie’s Headquarters in St. James’s, 8 King St, St. James's, London SW1Y 6QT, UK

About the Event

Kawkaba: Highlights from the Barjeel Art Foundation

Emirati Art Reimagined: Hassan Sharif and the Contemporary Voices

· Over 150 works across mediums including paintings, sculpture, drawings, installations and works on paper, spanning 80 years of creativity from 1939 to 2023

· The Exhibition is held in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth and the Barjeel Art Foundation,United Arab Emirates

· Celebrating Hassan Sharif, the UAE’s leading modern and contemporary artist who introduced conceptual art to the region

· Taking place from 20 July – 23 August at Christie’s Headquarters in St. James’s, London

Christie’s is honoured to present the largest exhibition of Arab Art in London to date, at Christie’s Headquarters in London this summer. Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World will bring together works of art across mediums in an exhibition which collectively celebrates the creativity, diversity and history of Arab Art, situated within two distinct sections, Kawkaba: Highlights from the Barjeel Art Foundation, and Emirati Art Reimagined: Hassan Sharif and the Contemporary Voices.  This will be the first time that such an extensive exhibition of Arab art will have been on view in London via a unique partnership with the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth and the Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE.  The exhibition is curated by Dr Ridha Moumni, Deputy Chairman, Christie’s Middle East and North Africa.

Kawkaba: Highlights from the Barjeel Art Foundation.  Kawkaba, ‘constellations’ in Arabic, is a loan exhibition of 100 masterpieces from the Barjeel Art Foundation which was created in 2010 by Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi. This exhibition, assembled from works across the region, pays homage to the rich artistic diversity of the Arab world, resonating with a myriad of artistic voices from the Middle East and North Africa. ‘Kawkaba’, a gender-balanced exhibition, magnifies the vibrant tapestry of Modern Arab art, shedding light on both regionally celebrated and underrepresented artists. This exhibition is a window into the soul of the Arab world, revealing an exploration of the region's richness while paying tribute to its unwavering resilience and boundless creativity. ‘Kawkaba’ invites visitors to marvel at the unique collection of the Barjeel Art Foundation and partake in a transformative artistic and cultural journey into the Arab World.

Emirati Art Reimagined: Hassan Sharif and the Contemporary Voices​ is a selling and loan exhibition including works by pioneering Emirati artist Hassan Sharif, representing his multi-disciplinary body of work. Sharif is widely regarded as a central figure in contemporary and conceptual art in the region. The collection showcases the breadth and depth of his practice with paintings, works on paper, sculpture, installations and textile based works from the 1980’s to 2015, a year before the artist passed away. Sharif lived most of his life in Dubai moving between roles as an artist, an educator and a mentor to many contemporary artists in the UAE and also inspired many of the established and emerging talent that are prevalent across the Gulf today where his enduring influence on the Emirati art scene continues to be seen. Pieces by Hassan Sharif will be presented alongside works by contemporary Emirati artists representative of youth and female practitioners, in collaboration with the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth. The Ministry of Culture and Youth is committed to supporting, nurturing and promoting the presence of Emirati arts globally and their collection includes works by Hussain Sharif, Mohammed Kazem, Farah Al Qasimi, Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim, and others.

Dr Ridha Moumni, Deputy Chairman, Christie’s Middle East and North Africa and Curator of the exhibition comments, ‘Modern and Contemporary Art of the region is a unique opportunity to bring together masterpieces by leading artists of the Arab World. The exhibition not only celebrates high-profile artists such as Hassan Sharif but shines a light on the unparalleled creativity, diversity, and rich histories of North African and West Asian cultures. Christie’s is honoured to partner with two prestigious cultural institutions, the Barjeel Art Foundation and The Ministry of Culture and Youth, United Arab Emirates, for what will be an exceptional moment for the arts and culture of the Arab World in London this summer’.

Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, Founder, Barjeel Art Foundation comments, ‘The exhibition is a rare opportunity to view in person a selection of artworks from some of the most prominent artists from West Asia and North Africa that have been collected over 20 years. The vast majority of the artworks in the exhibition have never been seen in the U.K. before. The works include a gender balanced selection which allows for visitors to appreciate the role that modern women artists played in the establishment of a flourishing Modern art movement in the region. Barjeel Art Foundation is especially proud to be collaborating with Christie's on this unique exhibition from whom many of these works have been collected over the years’.

Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World opens on 20 July and will run until the end of the day on 23 August. Entry to the exhibition is free.

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