Abu Dhabi Art 2012
The fourth edition of Abu Dhabi Art will showcase a selection of works by over 400 artists, represented by 50 of the world’s leading art galleries from both within and outside the Middle East. ©
Abu Dhabi Art 2012
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Last updated: April 29, 2013

5 must-see Middle Eastern art exhibitions

Banner Icon It's that time of year; the art market is coming to life after the summer break with tons of exciting exhibitions displaying art from the Middle East. We asked Joobin Bekhrad to highlight five of them.

Abu Dhabi Art 2012

Set to be held this November in Abu Dhabi’s Manarat Al Saadiyat and UAE Pavillion in Saadiyat Cultural District on Saadiyat Island between the 7th and 10th of November, the fourth edition of Abu Dhabi Art will showcase a selection of works by over 400 artists, represented by 50 of the world’s leading art galleries from both within and outside the Middle East. In addition to the art fair, discussions and workshops will also be held.

Light from the Middle East

This November, a wonderful exhibition of works from 30 leading contemporary Middle Eastern artists (e.g. Shadi Ghadirian, Youssef Nabil, and Hassan Hajjaj) from 13 countries in the region will be displayed at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. Part of the massive Nour Festival of Arts, the works in the exhibition will highlight various socio-political events that have impacted the lives of people in the Middle East for the past 20 years.

The Fertile Crescent: Gender, Art & Society

Running until January 2013, The Fertile Crescent: Gender, Art & Society is an initiative of the Rutgers Institute for Women and Art in New Jersey, featuring a series of exhibitions, panel discussions, performances, a book launch, and more. Held across various venues across the Rutgers campus, the programme – is aimed at challenging conventional Western stereotypes about women in the Middle East, and will feature the works of 24 female artists of Middle Eastern origin from 11 countries.

What Lies Beneath – 2nd Edition

On display between September 11 and October 10, the second edition of What Lies Beneath will bring together the works of six emerging Iranian artists making waves in the Middle Eastern art scene – Arefeh Riahi, Iman Raad, Shahrzad Changalvaee, Javad Azimi, Pouya Parsamagham, and Farrokh Mahdavi. Conceived by leading Iranian artist Rokni Haerizadeh, the exhibition will be showcased at Dubai’s Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde.

Come Invest In Us. You’ll Strike Gold

A reference to what Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika said shortly after his election, Come Invest In Us is a group exhibition of 20 artists from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) organised by Nadour in Vienna. Curated by Diana Wiegersma and running until November 3rd, the exhibition will explore the reflections of artists from the region and the diaspora on the results of domestic and foreign investments in the MENA, and how such activities have influenced the aesthetics of the region.

Joobin Bekhrad
Joobin (BBA, MSc.) is the Founder and Editor of REORIENT, as well as the Co-Founder of artclvb, an online platform for contemporary Middle Eastern art. He is also the author of a new translation of Omar Khayyam's poems from Persian into English.
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