The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Meem Gallery exhibits the work of contemporary Syrian artists
Yaser Safi, I Hate Helicoptors (2012). Acrylic on canvas, 160 x 205 cm.
DUBAI.- Meem Gallery announces the forthcoming group exhibition, Art Syria; a new exhibition comprised of works by seven established artists, all Syrian in nationality. Art Syria was inspired by the artists that continue to live and work in Syria today, despite the strife and danger that they face. All of the works that comprise Art Syria have been created in the past three years, documenting in their own way the civil war and its effect on the Syrian people. Each artist has responded to this period of instability by concentrating on their art; staying true to their style whilst exploring this new landscape, both geographical and metaphorical, through their practice. The technique of the artists is distinctive; media used in this exhibition includes acrylic on canvas, ink on rice paper, charcoal on card and mixed media, among other methods.

The artists included in this exhibition have exhibited in solo and collective shows throughout the Middle East, Europe and the United States; and their works can be found in important private and public collections, as well as at prestigious Biennales. The work of Youssef Abdelke in particular can be found in the Kuwait National Museum, Kuwait City, National Museum of Damascus, and British Museum in London.

Exhibiting Artists
Youssef Abdelke • Fadi Yazigi • Mounir Al Sharaani • Abdullah Murad • Yasser Safi • Nasser Hussain • Edward Shahda

Curatorial Statement
It is often said that the art produced today should relate to the society we are currently living in; art should be a statement of our time. Meem Gallery’s exhibition, Art Syria, reflects this notion as it relates directly to the artists’ personal experiences within Syria today. Our aim is to bring closer attention to what is happening in Syria to a wider audience, and to give the artists a new platform to exhibit their work.

Since 2010, Meem has initiated a programme looking at art from across the Middle East, with exhibitions like Art Sudan, Art Palestine, Art Morocco and Art in Iraq Today. Art Syria is an essential part of Meem’s ongoing programme dedicated to promoting creative talent in the Middle East. It is the first public exhibition at Meem devoted to Syrian art. Previously, during Abu Dhabi Art, the gallery exhibited key works by the modern Syrian masters Louay Kayyali and Fateh Moudarres; however, this is the first comprehensive display dedicated to the work of contemporary Syrian artists.

Art Syria is an exhibition that reflects what is happening today, depicting the reality of the situation within Syria through the eyes of artists—acting as an alternative means of documenting the bloodshed and turmoil experienced by the Syrian people today. The work is a testament to humanity and the ability to overcome the horrors of war through art.

What I find incredible is that the work has come out of a country that is in the throws of one of the most violent civil wars in recent times. It has been produced by incredibly creative artists based within Syria, who refuse to give up. As stated by Hala Abdallah, the wife of Youssef Abdelke, to Reuters shortly after his arrest in July 2013: ‘Youssef had made a decision to resist having to leave Syria again. He refused to seek French citizenship when he was in France, he used to say that if someone sees a fire in his house he will try to extinguish it, not run away.’

In November 2011, I sat down with Yaser Safi and Nasser Hussein in Downtown Beirut, after an introduction by Dia Azzawi—while Dia and I were setting up Art in Iraq Today, a co-curated project, at the Beirut Exhibition Center. At that point we were discussing a joint show with Yaser Safi and Nasser Hussein. Because of the civil war in Syria, communication was halted; however, a few months later, in March 2012, an exhibition was launched at Mashrabia Gallery in Cairo, co-curated by Mounir Shaarani and Stefania Angarano, called Artists from Today’s Syria, which included the work of Youssef Abdelke, Heba Akkad, Assem Al-Basha, Tarek Boteihy, Nasser Hussein, Fadi Yazigi, Edward Shahda, Yaser Safi, Abdallah Murad, and Mounir Shaarani. In June 2012 we spoke to Yaser and suggested bringing available elements of this exhibition to Dubai in 2013.

The civil war worsened and there was silence. Then one year later, in June 2013, we were informed that the project was back on schedule; all the works were being put together for shipment to Dubai and we were expected to receive them in July 2013. Two weeks after the works had been shipped from Damascus in July, one of the exhibiting artists, Youssef Abdelke was arrested for his political views by the Assad regime and then released one month later.

‘One cannot but deplore and condemn the arrest of Youssef Abdelke and his two comrades. This mentality, which treats the holder of an opinion as a criminal, has damaged Arab humanity and culture,’ Adonis, a fellow Syrian who is the Arab world's leading modernist poet, told Reuters following the arrest of the artist.

Depicting the reality of the situation is a key responsibility of the artists, and one that they have undertaken wholeheartedly. I cannot thank enough the artists participating in Art Syria: Youssef Abdelke, Fadi Yazigi, Mounir Sharaani, Abdallah Murad, Yaser Safi, Nasser Hussein and Edward Shahda. You have produced work that is all-inspiring and under the most difficult of circumstances.

I would also like to thank Dia Azzawi for introducing me to Yaser Safi and Nasser Hussein back in 2011, to Yaser Safi for coordinating all aspects of this project, to Kaissar Rizkallah and Badr El Hage for their support with this project and to Stephania Angarano and Mounir Shaarani for initiating the original project in Cairo in March 2012.

Charles Pocock

Today's News

October 21, 2013

The man behind the emperor: Augustus show opens at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome

"Beyond El Dorado: Power and Gold in Ancient Colombia" opens at the British Museum

Violin played by Titanic bandmaster sold for world record $1.4 million at Henry Aldridge and Son

Dulwich Picture Gallery presents first major exhibition dedicated to Whistler's time in London

The Schirn Kunsthalle presents the first solo exhibition devoted to Théodore Géricault in Germany

McNay celebrates Luis A. Jiménez Jr. through new acquisitions and exhibition

Famed museum, first to buy works by Van Gogh and Matisse, could fall victim to Detroit bankruptcy

The Dream of Forms: The Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris presents the work of Serge Poliakoff

Security tight after Banksy graffiti woes during month-long residency in New York

New ISAW exhibition examines geographic knowledge in ancient Greek and Roman societies

Exhibition showcases hidden gems in the American Museum of Natural History's rare book collection

"1925, when Art Déco dazzled the World" opens at Cite de l'Architecture museum

Outrage over $2.5 billion projects to mark the 120th anniversary of Mao's birth

Theatre of the World: The collections of David Walsh on view at la maison rouge

Women, War, and Industry exhibition debuts at The San Diego Museum of Art

Meem Gallery exhibits the work of contemporary Syrian artists

Major exhibition of American landscape masterpieces opens at the Grand Rapids Art Museum

Manfred Pernice installs an accessible bridge structure at Haus der Kunst

National Museum of Ireland opens exhibitions to mark the 100th anniversary of the Dublin Lockout of 1913

Patrick Guidot and Charlotte Lepelletier to present "Origin" at Slick art Fair

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Greece holds breath as skeleton found in Alexander the Great-era tomb at Amphipolis

2.- Spain mourns the death of art collector Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, Duchess of Alba

3.- Meet the ancestors: Exhibition at Bordeaux gallery reveals faces of prehistoric humans

4.- Getty Foundation and partners launch free of charge online art collection catalogues

5.- Historic photos of dead Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara resurface in small Spanish town

6.- Exhibition showcases the first two 'Poesie' created by Titian following their restoration

7.- O'Keeffe painting sells for more than three times the previous world auction record for any female artist

8.- Crystal Bridges announces the departure of museum President Don Bacigalupi

9.- artnet Auctions offers a later example of Yayoi Kusama's important Infinity-Nets series

10.- 'Degenerate art' should go back to museums: German advisor Jutta Limbach

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site