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Sharjah Art Foundation presents strong lineup of fall exhibitions
Arnulf Rainer, Towards Overpaintings, installation view, Bait Al Serkal, Arts Area, 2016. Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation.


SHARJAH.- Sharjah Art Foundation presents a strong lineup of exhibitions in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, throughout Fall 2016, including solo shows by Arnulf Rainer, Kamal Youssef, Enrico David, Robert Breer, Yayoi Kusama, Kamala Ishaq and Amir Nour.

Also on view is a major exhibition in Cairo titled When Arts Become Liberty: The Egyptian Surrealists (1938-1965), organised by Sharjah Art Foundation and the Ministry of Culture in Egypt. Building upon a 2015 international conference organised by Sharjah Art Foundation in collaboration with the Institute for Comparative Modernities at Cornell University and the Visual Cultures Program at the American University in Cairo, this exhibition includes more than 150 works selected from important public and private collections both in Egypt and abroad.

Vantage Point Sharjah 4 (VPS4), the fourth iteration of SAF’s annual exhibition of photography from across the GCC, will remain on view until October 12.

Arnulf Rainer
Towards Overpaintings
September 17, 2016 – November 1, 2016
Bait Al Serkal, Arts Area, Sharjah UAE

Curated by Sharjah Art Foundation Director Hoor Al Qasimi, this retrospective exhibition highlights early works by the self-taught Austrian artist Arnulf Rainer, whose career has been marked by a continual search for new approaches to painting. The show includes works from Rainer’s “Blind Paintings” and “Overpainting series”, a selection of the artist’s early sculptures and videos, as well as archival documentation that is being exhibited for the first time. Born in 1929, Rainer founded the postwar movement Art Informel in Austria. His works have been exhibited widely, including in retrospectives at the Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna (1968), the Kunstvere, Hamburg (1971) and the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York (1989). Rainer twice represented Austria at the Biennale in Venice (1978 and 1980) and participated in Documenta 7 (1980).

Kamal Youssef
Egyptian Surrealism’s Time Capsule
September 17, 2016 – November 17, 2016
Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah, UAE

Organised in collaboration with Sharjah Museums Department, this retrospective presents the work of Egyptian-American artist Kamal Youssef. Born in Egypt in 1923, Youssef developed his own distinctive style of painting and sculpture over the course of a seventy-year career. Kamal Youssef: Egyptian Surrealism’s Time Capsule is co-curated by Sharjah Art Foundation Director Hoor Al Qasimi and Dr Salah M. Hassan, Goldwin Smith Professor and Director, Institute for Comparative Modernities, Cornell University.

When Arts Become Liberty: The Egyptian Surrealists (1938- 1965)
September 28, 2016 – October 28, 2016
Palace of Arts, Cairo, Egypt

Organised by Sharjah Art Foundation, the Ministry of Culture, Egypt, Sector of Fine Arts, and the American University in Cairo, When Arts Become Liberty: The Egyptian Surrealists (1938-1965) is the first major exhibition to examine this important period and the artists and art groups that were active at the time. Focusing on the evolution of the Egyptian Surrealist group and their relationship with their Western and international counterparts, the exhibition documents a pivotal chapter of modernism in Egypt that spans from the late 1930s to the early 1960s, and highlights the multifaceted aspects of modernity and its global interconnectedness in the 20th century. More than 150 works have been brought together including substantial loans from important Egyptian public and private collections. The exhibition expands upon a 2015 conference Egyptian Surrealists in Global Perspective organised by Sharjah Art Foundation in collaboration with the Institute for Comparative Modernities at Cornell University and the Visual Cultures Program at the American University in Cairo. When Arts Become Liberty: The Egyptian Surrealists (1938-1965) has been curated by Hoor Al Qasimi, Sharjah Art Foundation Director; Dr Salah M. Hassan, Goldwin Smith Professor and Director, Institute for Comparative Modernities, Cornell University; Ehab Ellaban, Ufuq Gallery, Cairo; and Nagla Samir, American University in Cairo. The exhibition will begin an international tour in 2017.

Enrico David
Fault Work
October 1, 2016 – January 9, 2017
SAF Art Spaces, Sharjah, UAE

Fault Work – Enrico David’s first solo exhibition in the UAE – showcases the artist’s sculptures and large-scale tapestries, which employ artisanal craft techniques. David’s diverse practice resides at the intersections of sculpture, textiles, drawing, painting and installation. David’s sculptures are angular and fluid, while his tapestries are composed of organic and geometric forms. Both open-ended and psychologically charged, his works reflect a unique contemporary surrealism in their abstracted imagery and ambiguous form. Born in Italy and based in London, David was shortlisted for the 2009 Turner Prize. His work has been shown across Europe and the United States, including recent solo exhibitions at The Hepworth Wakefield, West Yorkshire (2015); UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2013) and New Museum, New York (2011). David also participated at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013) with a major installation of paintings, tapestries and sculptures in the Encyclopedic Palace.

Robert Breer
Time Flies
October 1, 2016 – January 8, 2017
The Flying Saucer, Sharjah, UAE

Robert Breer: Time Flies presents a selection of Breer’s early paintings and animations, as a well as his later kinetic sculptures and large-scale works. One of the founders of the American avant-garde, Breer was an experimental filmmaker, painter and sculptor whose career spanned more than 50 years. Solo exhibitions of his work have been held at international venues such as the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis (2012); Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (2011); Museum Tinguely, Basel (2009) and Musée national d'art moderne, Paris (2001). His work is included in the collections of the Centre Pompidou, Paris and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others.

Yayoi Kusama
Dot Obsessions
October 1, 2016 – January 9, 2017
Building I, SAF Art Spaces, Sharjah, UAE

Yayoi Kusama’s solo exhibition features a comprehensive selection of early works from the 1950s as well as site-specific reproductions and interactive installations. One of Japan’s most important living artists, Kusama has forged a singular practice that spans over six decades and encompasses a variety of mediums from traditional Japanese painting and sculpture to performance, printmaking, photography and installation. Kusama’s work has been exhibited extensively including major retrospectives at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2015); the Tate Modern, London (2012); the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2012); the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2011) and the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (2004). Kusama represented Japan at the 38th Venice Biennale (1993). Curated by Sharjah Art Foundation Director Hoor Al Qasimi, Dot Obsessions at Sharjah Art Foundation will be Kusama’s first exhibition in the UAE.

Kamala Ishaq
November 12, 2016 – January 16, 2017
SAF Art Spaces, Building J, Sharjah, UAE

This solo exhibition of Sudanese artist Kamala Ibrahim Ishaq will showcase a variety of paintings, including early pieces by the artist as well as new works commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation. A pioneer of modernist painting in Sudan, Kamala was head of the Painting Department at the College of Fine and Art, Khartoum and resident at the Sudan National Museum in the 1970s. Throughout her career, the artist has held multiple solo exhibitions in Khartoum, and has participated in various international and national exhibitions including at the Whitechapel Gallery, London (1995). This exhibition is co-curated by Sharjah Art Foundation Director Hoor Al Qasimi and Dr. Salah M. Hassan, Goldwin Smith Professor and Director, Institute for Comparative Modernities, Cornell University. Kamala Ishaq’s exhibition will run parallel to a major exhibition at Sharjah Art Foundation on Sudanese modern and contemporary art, titled The Khartoum School: the Making of the Modern Art Movement in Sudan.

Amir Nour
A Retrospective (1965-present)
Brevity is the Soul of Wit
November 12, 2016 – January 9, 2017
Bait Al Serkal, Arts Area, Sharjah, UAE

A Retrospective (1965-present) Brevity is the Soul of Wit covers the last 30 years of the American-based Sudanese artist Amir Nour, presenting drawings, photographs, sculptures and new commissions drawn from images of the domes, arches, calabashes and sand hills of the artist’s native Sudan. Nour’s works combine traditional African imagery with the visual vocabulary and materials of Western minimalism. Co-curated by Sharjah Art Foundation Director Hoor Al Qasimi and Dr. Salah M. Hassan, Goldwin Smith Professor Cornell University, this is the artist’s first exhibition in the UAE.





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October 3, 2016

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