Original program date: May 28, 2020. 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.
April 2020 The following conversation was produced by ArteEast, a leading New York-based not-for-profit organization founded in 2003 that is dedicated to engaging a growing audience with the contemporary arts from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and its diaspora. Through public programming, strategic partnerships, and dynamic online publications, ArteEast is a forum for […]
Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950s–1980s (Grey Art Gallery, New York University and Hirmer Publishers, 2020) was published in conjunction with the exhibition of the same name. Read the book’s introduction below. Introduction: “No Longer a Horizon, but Infinity,” by Suheyla Takesh, co-curator of the exhibition and curator at the Barjeel Art Foundation. […]
From the 1950s, significant changes swept through the Arab world – the disintegration of colonial powers, industrialisation, war and the mass exodus of people. In this period until the 1980s, various modes of abstract art also began to spring up in the region. The artistic movements produced in these decades is the focus of the exhibition Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950s to 1980s, which opens on January 14, 2020 at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery in Manhattan.