It may be quiet right now, but the next few months promise some exciting solo shows. Here’s our highlights
B21 Gallery – Rokni Haerizadeh
Now working out of a warehouse in Al Quoz, Iranian painter Rokni Haerizadeh has been brewing up a storm of satirical and upfront images to reflect on the current situation in Iran since moving to Dubai. We got a chance to look in on Rokni recently and his style is shifting ever more away from the absurd and into darker, more terrifying images. There’s still an underlying humour to what he’s doing, but it has become more pronounced, more astute – simply put, his works have become darker and all the better for it.
One particularly striking image explores the carnival-esque nature of protest, with Rokni asking: Are the two so different? We also got a look at the ground work for a collaborative video project with his brother Ramin Haerizadeh.
Rokni, alongside Ramin, was recently featured in Charles Saatchi’s Unveiled: New Art From The Middle East show in London, and so this solo at B21 comes at a pivotal point for the artist. Steadily gathering international acclaim, now is the perfect time for a show dedicated entirely to him. Don’t miss this. Rokni Haerizadeh will appear in B21 Gallery on November 9. The gallery’s next show is of Iranian artist Fereydoun Ave, opening September 23.
Ayyam Gallery – Mohannad Orabi
The Syrian painter gets his first solo show on the back of his successes in Beijing after he exhibited there earlier this year. The young artist paints circular faces. In fact, that’s all we’ve seen him do so far. But when we managed to spend a bit of time in Orabi’s Damascus studio over the summer, he left us convinced and impressed that this solo show will reveal slightly more of the artist.
Having worked on a huge nine panel piece that will form the centrepiece of the show, Orabi tells us that he hopes this solo show will reveal a little more of what’s going on behind those twee faces. Scrabbling around to give us some idea of how this will look once it gets onto the gallery walls, Orabi arranges a selection of his square pieces on the studio floor. The idea, he explains, is to bring the very different stories behind each self-portrait into collision with each other and, in the process, show the possibilities of his expressive and recognisable style. Ayyam have billed Orabi as one of their big hopefuls. We, for now, will have to wait and see. Mohannad Orabi will appear at Ayyam Gallery on October 1.The gallery is closed during Ramadan.
Carbon 12 – Gil Heitor Cortesao
Carbon 12 is moving on. It’s packing up its Marina HQ and joining the Al Quoz art brigade. Reopening mid-October, it launches its new gallery with a very interesting collection of works by Gil Heitor Cortesao. The Portuguese artist has an ultra-realistic style of painting, offset by the layer of glass that he lays over his oil works. This layer brings a sense of corruption to the image, we see the scene melting, being corrupted, appearing somehow decimated. Gil Heitor Cortesao will appear at Carbon 12 in October. Watch this space for updates.