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
Original program date: May 28, 2020
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, discusses 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, discusses 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.