By Paul Laster
Why did you decide to solely focus on abstract Arab art from the collection for the traveling show, which is currently at the Grey Art Gallery?
Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi: The credit for this focus goes to Lynn Gumpert, the director of the Grey Art Gallery. It was very much her idea and it turned out that there had never been an exhibition or a book focused on this subject in the West. There had been an exhibition on Arab abstraction in Kuwait, but that show didn’t have a catalogue. There was never an exhibition of this kind anywhere outside of the Arab world on abstraction. It was important to set the record straight on where Arab abstraction came from, what were its influences. And I cannot emphasize enough the importance of having a book on it with essays by eight of the great living scholars on Arab art. It finally brings their ideas and thoughts together. As someone who teaches in the university I never had a text to assign to students and now I have eight essays, which I can share with them to learn about the origins of Arab abstraction.