Watch
Taking Shape: New Perspectives on Arab Abstraction
Session 1: The Barjeel Art Foundation and “Taking Shape”

Taking Shape: New Perspectives on Arab Abstraction, A Zoom Webinar Series
Session 1: The Barjeel Art Foundation and Taking Shape
Co-organized by NYU’s Grey Art Gallery and Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies, and co-sponsored by ArteEast.

Until the late 1960s, 20th-century art from the Middle East and North Africa was greatly understudied. Yet by the turn of the millennium, scholars, museum curators, and collectors were actively engaged in creating a global art history. Among questions to be considered are: Why did modern artists from these regions choose to create nonfigurative works? How can we approach Arab abstraction without falling back on borrowed methodologies?

Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi, founder of the Barjeel Art Foundation, will discuss this independent, UAE­­­–based initiative, which he established in 2009 to study, preserve, and exhibit modern art from the Arab world, and to foster critical conversations about regional modernisms. Suheyla Takesh, a curator at Barjeel and co-curator of Taking Shape, will discuss her role in organizing the exhibition, framing her investigation of modernism’s development in mid-20th century North Africa and West Asia within today’s rethinking of the canon of abstract art. Moderated by Lynn Gumpert, director of NYU’s Grey Art Gallery and co-curator of the exhibition.

Closed captions available.