Tour the UAE's top galleries and check out these exhibits this month
1x1 Gallery Group show This Dubai gallery is known for its vast collection of modern and contemporary Indian art and serves a vital role in furthering these genres within the healthy Dubai art scene. During March, 1x1 will be presenting a superb group show that will highlight some of the best-known names in the past century of Indian art, including MF Husain, FN Souza, Ram Kumar, SH Raza, Laxma Goud, Thota Vaikuntam, Bhupen Khakar, Badri Narayan, Jogen Chowdhury, Himmat Shah, Ganesh Pyne, G Ravinder Reddy, Chittrovanu Mazumdar, GR Iranna, Shibu Natesan and Bose Krishnamachari. March 15–April 15. Open Sat–Thu 11am–8.30pm. Villa No. 1023, Al Manara,Al Wasl Road, www.1x1artgallery.com (04 348 3873).
Alliance Francaise Of Dubai ‘White Pages, White Books, Artist Touch’ by Jean Charles Yaich French artist Jean Charles Yaich creates his beautiful, monochromatic light sculptures with white paper, based on an ‘open-book’ concept – a book as an object, an open book to everyone’s reflection and in a constant dialogue with his imaginative world. Inspired by poems and dreams, ‘White Pages, White Books, Artist Touch’ is a story told by signs and forms, rendered into aerial abstraction, light and pure. March 15–31. Open Sun–Thu 9am–1pm, 4pm–8pm; Sat 9am–1pm. Street 18. Bur Dubai, www.afdubai.com (04 335 8712).
Art Chowk ‘What Are we looking at?’ Group show Increasingly perceptions dominate our decisions. Packaging rather than value drives economic and cultural behaviour. With infinite choices we are attracted to the one that looks the best and we connect to those who most reflect our perception of ourselves. Public opinion guided by perceptions dictates cultural boundaries and political affiliations. The truth, hidden behind this visual, is diffused and may be distorted. Or it may just be different. Technique and context are used to snapshot this perversion. The works question accepted truths through subject matter and practice, and prod the viewer to look beyond what is immediately visible. This exhibition features work by RM Naeem, Jamil Baloch, Laila al Masri, Faraz Ali and Asif Ahmed. March 19 – 20. Open daily, 10am–7pm. Modula Conceptua, Jumeirah Beach Road, Um Sequim 1 (050 505 6490/04 394 3002).
Art Couture TRIO: A Celebration of Contemporary Art @Art Couture Art Couture presents three artists linked by their shared passion for art, exhibiting their individual collections. Syrian artist Hassan Edalbi’s presents ‘Moods’, which highlights the various moods we all experience in our day-to-day lives. In caricature, his figures are humorous and light-hearted, whereas his acrylic paintings explore more reflective and emotional feelings. Sharjah-based Syrian artist Basem Al Sayer presents ‘Dreams And Reality’, featuring numerous figures, symbols and signs, exploring the notion of memory, whilst Canadian-born Cynthia Reta Richards completes the trio with ‘Read Between The Threads’, a homage to the challenging Bedouin lifestyle still at work behind the scenes of today’s modern Middle Eastern society. Until April 27. Al Fattan Marine Towers II, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai Marina, www.artcoutureuae.com, (04 399 4331).
Art Sawa ‘Coastal Promenade’ by Camille Zakharia ‘Coastal Promenade’ is Zakharia’s latest photographic essay and part of the ‘Reclaim’ project which won Bahrain the Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale for Architecture 2010. Commissioned by the Ministry of Culture, and curated by Noura Al-Sayeh, the ‘Coastal Promenade’ portfolio illustrates the diversity of the coastal landscape along the shores of the Kingdom of Bahrain. The images range from the darker themes of the ecological effects of land reclamation to a lighter look at the way in which their users are appropriating these coastal areas. Candid in his approach, Camille Zakharia attempts to paint the true colour of the place and its people during a time of dramatic change. Until March 27. Road 323, Al Quoz, www.artsawa.com, (04 340 8660).
Artspace Group show In a dynamic and highly-topical show of brand new work, executed in response to the recent events in Cairo, Zakaria Ramhani, Adel El Siwi, Nadine Hammam, George Bahgory, Hani Zurob and Khaled Hafez, Charbel Samuel Aoun and Mohammed Tammam present a multi-media group show that is fresh, relevant and powerful in its breadth and energy. Open Sat–Thu 10am–8pm. Gate Village Building. 3, Level 2, DIFC, www.artspace–dubai.com, (04 323 2082).
Ayyam Gallery ‘Trees And The High Rising City’ by Samia Halaby Ayyam Gallery Dubai (DIFC) presents ‘Trees And The High Rising City,’ a solo show by Samia Halaby, highlighting recent works by the seminal Palestinian-born artist. At this stage in her oeuvre, Halaby has revisited many of the aesthetic breakthroughs that first distinguished her illustrious career. Yet, although her latest canvases draw from earlier experiments, she explores the angular perspective of architecture alongside the textures and variances found in nature, creating compositions that reflect the energy of bodies and masses in motion as they intersect and converge before the viewer – a daring, rarely seen, feat in abstraction. This collection of work speaks of an artist who has continuously searched for new ways to visually interpret the world around her. Here, the artist has sought to dismantle the picture plane even further, by bringing together elements that have never been simultaneously examined in her work before. Open March 13–April 28. Sat–Thu 10am–8pm. Podium Level, DIFC, Gate Village, Building 3, www.ayyamgallery.com (04 439 2395/04 439 2390).
Carbon 12 André Butzer Carbon 12, in association with the prestigious Max Hetzler gallery, proudly presents the art of André Butzer in his first major solo exhibition in the Middle East. ‘Potato Chips, Coke and Medicine’, ‘Fanta and Sprite, long-life milk, Micky and Donald’. At first glance Butzer’s exhibition titles have a distinct pop feel, a certain lightness. Works named ‘Blue Smurfs’, ‘Entombment of Winnie the Pooh’ or ‘Favorite Painting of Paul Cezanne’ suggest the absurd and conceptual. His paintings oscillate between abstraction and figuration, enchanted with bright colours and executed with expressive brush strokes. Characters are born, a whole universe of signs and signifiers in constant flux, referencing American and German history, politics and economy, pop culture and the entertainment industry, but always focusing on the development of a personal vocabulary. March 14–April 20. Open Sat–Thu 11.30am–7pm. Warehouse D37, Al Quoz 1, Street 8, Al Serkal Avenue, www.carbon12dubai.com (050 464 4392).
Cuadro Fine Art ‘Right Here, Right Now’ and ‘We Are Beginning: Personal Projects In Public Spaces’. Group show There’s a frenetic bustle of activity at DIFC’s trailblazing Cuadro gallery this month. In ‘Right Here, Right Now’ five rising stars of the Arab, Iranian and Turkish art scene bring a riotous assembly of colour, light, creativity, passion and vision across a spectrum of mediums including traditional media such as oils and acrylics as well as mixed media, photography and neon. With work from acclaimed British-Iraqi painter Athier whose new, monumental, post-pop compositions employ geometric Islamic shapes and Arabic calligraphy, Saudi Arabian artist Manal Al Dowayan, a former Cuadro artist-in-residence, Jaffar Al Oraibi, a Bahraini artist making his UAE debut with 25 new large-scale works under the title ‘When Ali Met William’, Iranian artist Gita Meh highlighting new works from her celebrated ‘I Command: The Michaelangelo Series’ which deconstructs Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel iconography, overlaying it with images of quotidian modern life and Ali Taptik, a Turkish lens-based artist, launching works from a new series that juxtaposes the anonymity associated with a new city with his intimate personal experiences, this exhibition is an essential experience for anyone even remotely interested in the future of Middle Eastern contemporary art.
In ‘We Are Beginning’ Cuadro showcases American-born, Berlin-based artist Brad Downey’s ‘interference street art’, a concept never seen before in the region. Downey’s work playfully manipulates mundane objects on the street, such as signs, bricks and construction materials, transforming them into meaningful messages. Look out for Downey’s ‘modifications’ to street furniture around the DIFC area and the Madinat Jumeirah complex during Art Week. Also at Cuadro, Lebanese contemporary jeweller and artist Nadine Kanso will launch her first-ever pop-up shop, retailing limited editions from her ‘Bil Arabi’ line, including T-shirts, beachwear, pouches, cushions and select jewellery pieces, echoing the links between art, fashion and self-expression. From March 14. Open Sun–Thu 10am–8pm, Sat 12pm–6pm (or by appointment). Gate Village Building 10, DIFC Gate Village, www.cuadroart.com (04 425 0400).
The Courtyard Gallery ‘Mythological Engagements’ by Sinan Hussein Sinan Hussein is not afraid to travel through white space, journeying in soft and smooth patches of colour. Circles encapsulate his figures, all sublime and indiscernible, cloned in the form of birds, flowers and ciphers. His works depict the marriage of female and male figurines surrounded by members of their tribe. The left leg’s position of the male figure is a symbol of the triumph of mind over emotions. The more emotionally inclined female figurine is stepping the opposite way. This duality of thinking is the prime concept around which his works evolve. March 9–April 14. Open Sat–Thu 11.30–7pm, Al Quoz 3, Street 6. www.courtyardgallerydubai.com (04 347 9090).
Creative Art Centre The Creative Art Centre is a specialist gallery focusing on the heritage of the Gulf. Their collection of historical prints of the Middle East includes those of Roberts and Daniells as well as a series of antique maps. The gallery also has a selection of rare antique Arabian silver from the bedu, wedding chests and old Omani doors for sale. Prices vary from Dhs60 to Dhs12,000. Open Sat–Thu 8am–6pm. Jumeirah Beach Road, opp. Choitrams supermarket, (04 344 4394).
Gallery 76 at Dubai International Art Centre ‘Expressions Without Borders’. Group show It’s not as well known as the new crop of galleries that have been making a noise over the past few years, but the Dubai International Arts Centre has spent much of its 35 years efficiently getting on with providing an invaluable resource to the city’s artists. In a new group show, ‘Expressions Without Borders’, Beena Samuel, Ursula Musch, Lia Staehlin and Anastasie present an eclectic mix of artworks in ink, charcoal and acrylics, accompanied by specially-designed jewellery and silk scarves March 15–30. Open Sat–Thu, 9am–9pm. Villa No 27, Street 75b, (behind Mercato Mall) Jumeriah Beach Road, (04 344 4398).
Dubai Community Theatre & Arts Centre (Ductac) ‘Mind-City Dialogue’. Group show In this group show, featuring a roster of locally-based artists with diverse cultural backgrounds, local artist and curator Ebtisam Abdulaziz has assembled a fascinating series of responses to modern-day life in Dubai from video installations to paintings, graphics, art, sculpture and performance. The main concept of the exhibition is reflecting the diversity of responses from artists to their home or adopted city of Dubai. The show includes work by Salem Al-Mansoori, Nasir Naserallah, Muna Abdulqader, Basem Alsayer, Huda Saed Saif, Maisoon Alsaleh, Zeinab Alhashemi, Maryam Al Qassimi, Majida Nasreddin, Khalid Mezaina, Caroln Kropff, Alia Lootah, Paolo Giannotti, Barbara McGivern, Amna Al Madani, Raymond Prucher and Julia H Townsend. March 10–20. Open Sat–Thu 9am–10pm, Fri 2pm–10pm. Level 2, Mall of the Emirates, www.ductac.org, (04 341 4777).
Spotlight on an artist Samia A. Halaby Born in Jerusalem in 1936, Samia Halaby is a leading Palestinian painter and scholar, with decades of experience and a reputation for being an innovator of abstract painting in the Arab world.
When Halaby was a child, she and her family departed Palestine for a few days but they were then denied entry to return to their home and lost all their possessions. After living in Lebanon for some time, they immigrated to the US, when she was a teenager. Halaby graduated from Indiana University with a Master of Fine Arts in painting in 1963, and has spent spent 10 years as professor of art at the Yale School of Art.
Represented by Ayyam Gallery of Damascus, Halaby has great respect for the revolutionary artists of the 20th century - the artists of Cubism, Futurerism, Suprematism, the Mexican muralists, and the Abstract Expressionism are the best of the past century, in her opinion. Drawing on her feelings over her homeland, she’s also known to document the plight of the Palestinian people in politically-charged creations.
‘Over five decades of questioning why and what, my mind has developed its paths to places that make painting as delightfully delicious food on an afternoon in sunshine. It takes me to fields of golden wheat, to eating watermelon in the speckled shade of an olive or fig tree, to vistas of the blue sky meeting the blue Mediterranean and coming to my very toes on the sands of a beach while yearning for my homeland,’ says Halaby.
Halaby’s work is housed in several museum collections worldwide, most notably the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, The British Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, and The Detroit Institute of Art.
She is the first artist to have been invited to participate in the Havana Biennial from North America and a book dedicated to her art has been published by Fine Arts Publishing of Beirut. Samia’s exhibition ‘Trees and the High Rising City’ is at the Ayyam Gallery from March 13–April 28. Open Sat–Thu 10am–8pm. Podium Level, DIFC,Gate Village, Building 3, www.ayyamgallery.com (04 439 2395).
Gallery Isabelle Van Den Eynde ‘Walking In The Darkness Of A Promised Light’ by Reza Aramesh Bewildering juxtapositions, a dazzling mélange of performance, theatricality, shoulder-grabbing intensity and moral questioning of wealth, power, conflict and culture – Reza Aramesh’s particular line of work sees him draw images from across the print, television and online media reporting wars and conflicts worldwide, seizing on an individual or group of men, usually prisoners and meticulously recreating them in photographic or sculptural pieces labelled ‘Actions’, often within almost comically incongruous surroundings. The exhibition also includes a series of sculptures, themed along similar lines. Here, he has recreated his figures using exacting techniques employed by 17th century European sculptors. Aramesh has painstakingly emulated their labour-intensive techniques to cast his own, modern-day ‘saints’ – inviting us to assess whether these victims found on the roads of Iraq, Afghanistan or Vietnam are indeed the secular saints of our time? March 14–May 5. Open Sat–Thu 10am–7pm. Street 8, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz 1, www.ivde.net (04 323 5092).
Green Art Gallery ‘Balloons On The Sea’ by Hale Tenger ‘Balloons On The Sea’ is Turkish artist Hale Tenger’s first solo exhibition at Green Art Gallery, and introduces Tenger’s new nine-channel video installation with music composed by her long-time audio collaborator Serdar Ateser.
‘Balloons On The Sea’ takes its subject directly from a popular pastime practiced along the Bosphorus in Istanbul and along the coastlines of Turkey; a game of shooting at balloons laid on the sea. A very radiant visual impact is created by a string of colourful balloons and their reflections on the sea, as they keep floating from side to side with the waves and the wind. In her installation Tenger reverses this image and thus fabricates an ambiguity where reflections become beings and beings become reflections. Similar to some of her earlier work, ‘Balloons On The Sea’ bears a dominant, dreamlike aspect that contains references to childhood and is based on the reflections of various psychological conditions. March 14–April 28. Open Sat–Thu 10am–9pm. Unit 28, Al Quoz 1, Street 8, Al Serkal Avenue, www.gagallery.com (04 346 9305).
Hunar Art Gallery Hunar Gallery, opened its doors to the public in 1998. The gallery has a track record of showcasing paintings, sculptures, metal works and ceramics of eminent artists from around the globe. Hunar Gallery is well known for bringing top international artists to Dubai. Over the years, Hunar has presented more than 50 exhibitions of 130 renowned artists, including the Emirati painter Abdul Qader Al Rais, Paris based calligrapher Hassan Massoudy, Japanese artist Koshun Masunaga, Jordanian artist Rima Farah, British artist Sarrah Warren, South African artist Leigh Voigt, French artist Marc Thouy, Iranian artist Farideh Lashai and the exclusively-Emirati women artists group TEBRA. Open Sat–Thu 9am–1pm, 4pm–8pm. Villa No 6, Green Coast Village, Street 49a, Al Rashidiya, www.hunargallery.com (04 286 2224).
Kenza Art Gallery ‘Spirits Land’. Group show. The visual arts and music collide in this spiritually-themed group show by Dubai-based artists Sumeira Isaacs, Shakira Masood and Ziyyad Gulzar. Located at the Souk Madinat Jumeirah, the busy Kenza Art Gallery focuses and supports the UAE’s vibrant local talent as well as showcasing contemporary art from international emerging art scenes around the region. March 10–April 10. Open daily, 10am–11pm. Shop 67, Souk Madinat Jumeirah www.artkenza.com, (04 368 6603).
Gallery Lawrie Shabibi Nabil Nahas Take a former managing director of Art Dubai, add a former head of sales for Christie’s Middle East, bring in one of the most renowned Lebanese artists of recent times and set the whole package in the exciting Al Serkal district of Al Quoz and you can guarantee something rather special is going to happen. Asma al Shabibi and William Lawrie’s new contemporary art gallery has had the Dubai art world buzzing with anticipation for months now and on March 13, the wait will be over as the pair unveil not only their brand-new art space, but also show by Nabil Nahas. Nabil Nahas is Lebanon’s most renowned artist, having established himself first in New York art circles as a master of colour, texture and atmosphere. Nahas’ work can already be found in eminent collections worldwide and this show makes for a fittingly memorable inauguration for a gallery that promises to show works from established masters to the latest talent from across the Middle East. From April 13. Unit 21 Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz, www.lawrieshabibi.com (050 467 0272/050 946 5125).
Meem Gallery ‘Art In Iraq Today, Part IV’. Group show Meem Gallery, the region’s leading repository of modernist Arab art, presents the fourth of five exhibitions exploring contemporary Iraqi art this March with a group show curated by renowned Iraqi contemporary artist Dia Al-Azzawi. It will exhibit the recent work of Dia Al-Azzawi, Rafa Al-Nasiri (both founders of the New Vision Group in 1969) and Ali Talib. The exhibition, and its supporting catalogue, is dedicated to the memory of Jabra Ibrahim Jabra and his seminal essays on modern Iraqi art, entitled ‘Art in Iraq Today.’ In a selection of works that are insightful, historically significant and aesthetically, the show tells a fascinating story of artistic evolution in one of the most culturally-rich nations of the Middle East, ‘Art In Iraq Today: Part IV’ is an essential experience and a eye-opening insight into some of the Middle East’s most influential and pioneering talents. The gallery also includes the Noor Library of Islamic Art, regarded as the largest resource centre for the arts of the Islamic world in the region, which can be visited by prior appointment. Open March 13–April 18. Sat–Thu 10am–7pm. Umm Suqeim Road, www.meem.ae (04 347 7883).
Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding One of the most essential, must-go places in Dubai, the Sheikh Mohammed Centre For Cultural Understanding provides visitors and residents alike with a friendly, insightful orientation of the history, culture and everyday life of the Emirates. Situated amidst the picturesque alleyways and ancient windtowers of the city’s charming Bastikiya district, the SMCCU receives visitors daily (by prior appointment) for a tour of the premises, a traditional Emirati coffee morning and a chance to participate in relaxed, convivial surroundings. A welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the art scene and a chance to really understand the history of this exciting city – it’s all on offer at the SMCCU! Open Sun–Fri 8am–2pm, Sat 9am–12pm. Al Bastakiya, Bur Dubai, www.cultures.ae (04 353 6666).
Mojo Gallery ‘As It Is!’ Group show A multi-faceted exhibition of contemporary art from Africa and the diaspora featuring the works of 20 leading and emerging African artists, ‘As It Is!’ is an exciting, vibrant affair that unites some of the leading artistic talents from across the African continent. Curated by Annabelle Nwankwo-Mu’azu and under the patronage of Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka, the show promises to be a fascinating insight into the regionally-underrepresented world of African art. March 15–April 30. Open Sat–Thu 10am–7pm. Unit 33 Al Serkal Avenue, Street 8, Al Quoz 1 www.themojogallery.com.
Showcase Gallery Sabhan Adem Throughout March, Showcase Gallery is exhibiting works by the singular, self-taught artist from Syria, Sabhan Adam. Seldom in this region can one be treated to such a large and diverse selection of his mixed media works on canvas. Depicting expressionistic distortions of the human form, his subjects seem to live in a place that tears the watcher out of complacency and into an uncomfortable plane of existence, where any reference to beauty depends on your level of discomfiture. March 1–31. Open Sat–Thu 9am–6pm. Villa 679, Jumeirah Beach Road, opposite Dubai Municipality Building, www.showcasedubai.com (04 348 8797).
Tashkeel Established in January 2008, Tashkeel is an independent resource for artists and designers living and working in the UAE. Tashkeel is committed to facilitating art and design practice, cross-cultural dialogue and creative exchange. Combining workshops and exhibition space, the collective has just expanded its base of operations from its original office at Nad al Sheba to a new location in Bastikiya. During March, Tashkeel is also supporting the Delfina Foundation’s Artist In Residence programme at Bastikiya, in collaboration between the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, Delfina Foundation and Art Dubai with the support of the British Council. At their Nad Al Sheba site there will be a group show, sourced from an open-call for work, based on selected Arabic proverbs called ‘As The Saying Goes’ from March 9 and a free discussion forum for artists on March 23 at 7pm. Nad al Sheba, Street 5 and Street 20, Nad Al Sheba 1, www.tashkeel.org, (04 336 3313). Open daily 10am–6pm. Al Bastakiya location: House 67/10, Al Bastikiya, Bur Dubai.
The Empty Quarter ‘The Spectacle Of War’. Group show Concurrent with Art Dubai and as part of Art Week, Dubai’s leading contemporary photography gallery The Empty Quarter Gallery presents a group show entitled ‘The Spectacle of War’, comprising projects from internationally-acclaimed photographers Benjamin Lowy (‘Iraq Perspectives’), Richard Mosse (‘Breach And The Fall’), Spencer Murphy (‘Architects Of War’), Phil Nesmith (‘My Baghdad’) and Trevor Paglen (‘Limit-Telephotography And The Other Night Sky’). Photography matters when it comes to war, in all its shapes, roles and technological reincarnations. ‘The Spectacle of War’ testifies this, at times, an uncomfortable liaison by presenting several inroads into the spectacle that war has become, combining works of strategically operating artists, experimental film directors and innovative photojournalists with commercial video games based on the Iraq war and material culled from the military and corporate arms manufacturers themselves. March 14–April 30. Open Sat–Thu 9am–10pm. Gate Village Building 02, DIFC, www.theemptyquarter.com (04 323 1210).
The Jam Jar ‘Hear Me Roar - New Art from Pakistan, Bangladesh & Iran’. Group show All aged under 30, the seven artists in ‘Hear Me Roar’ are a fresh generation of practitioners who holler to be heard. They are energised, new female voices from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Iran that offer playful and quirky, yet potent images of life in these nations - from ordinary rituals to extraordinary circumstances, from personal aspirations to collective desires. The seven women disturb not only our perceptions, but also our expectations. Their imagery screams out with novel perspectives on women, how they are expected to act, and the ways in which they really behave. Curated by Atteqa Ali, participating artists are Saira Ansari, Nida Bangash, Ala Dehghan, Rabbya Naseer, Ayesha Sultana, Newsha Tavakolian and Hurmat ul-Ain. Open Sat–Thu 10am–8pm, Fri 2pm–8pm. March 12–April 30. Sreet 17a, Al Quoz 3, www.thejamjardubai.com (04 341 7303).
The Pavilion Downtown Dubai ‘Water Panics The Sea’ by Laleh Khorramian. The Pavilion is Dubai’s newest dedicated non-commercial contemporary art space providing a place to view, discuss and participate in work by local and international artists. Hosting two gallery spaces, Gallery One and Gallery Two, The Pavilion is a unique hub for a diverse range of arts events. In collaboration with The Third Line, The Pavilion presents ‘Water Panics In The Sea’ this month, a digital stop-frame animation by Laleh Khorramian. Reflecting on themes of travel, time and space, the film follows the voyage of a ghost ship/time machine as it ventures across the seas. Constructed through a process of iterative magnification and manipulation of minute details derived from monotype prints and drawings, the film seeks to question our habituated perception by an intricate use of scale, distance, time and space. Also being featured at The Pavilion through March is a unique light installation by James Clar in Gallery One. A media artist whose work is a fusion of technology, popular culture, and visual information, Clar explores the limitations of various communication mediums and their effect on the individual and society through an installation entitled ‘Hypermedia’. March 10 – June 13. The Pavilion Downtown Dubai, (04 341 1367).
Pro-Art Gallery ‘Street Art Without Borders’. Group show This exhibition will showcase for the first time in Dubai a diverse collection of street artworks from around the world. Artworks from household names such as Britain’s most celebrated and enigmatic graffiti artists Banksy, American Richard Mirando aka SEEN often referred to as the ‘Godfather of Graffiti’, Los Angeles based French artist Thierry Guetta aka Mr Brainwash, and Vitaly Rusakov aka Mizer the renowned Russian urban muralist will be showcased, as well as works by the upcoming French artist Gwenael Salaun, whose improvised and innovative paintings are reminiscent of the late Jean-Michel Basquiat. Other artists to be featured during the exhibition include The London Police, Speedy Graphito, the New York based collective of artists Faile, Mau Mau, and Evil Dr Revolt, and local artist Saif B.Chilmiran. March 9–31. Open Sat–Thu 10am–9pm. Palm Strip Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road, www.proartuae.com (04 345 0900).
The Third Line Farhad Moshiri For his third solo exhibition at the gallery, Moshiri presents new work which continues to simplify his subjects through his composition and painting style within the neo-pop movement. Moshiri has since been constantly pushing his materials, using cake icing dispensers, Swarovski crystals, and knives to make paintings that incorporate increasingly textured and sculptural approaches. But it is not Moshiri’s technique that has earned him the attention that he currently benefits from, rather, it is his mastery of Iranian visual vernacular, as well as his acute awareness of popular culture and art history. Farhad Moshiri is also the subject of a career-spanning retrospective at the Farjam Collection this month (see Special Events). Open Sat–Thu 11am–8pm. March 13–April 14. Street 6, Al Quoz 3, www.thethirdline.com (04 341 1367).
Total Arts At The Courtyard ‘Unified In Diversity’. Group show Total Arts together with Iran’s Aun Gallery hosts an exhibition of new and exciting contemporary Iranian artists. Seven artists who possess different styles and use varied media are unified through their source of inspiration, creativity and goals. They were chosen from a list of many talented contemporary Iranian artists for a special month long exhibition at Total Arts Gallery due to their diverse approach to socio-political issues occupying Iranian artists’ minds today. Artists participating include Yasser Mirzaee, Farideh Shahsavarani, Omid Hallaj, Mohammad Hossein Emad, Morteza Talebi, Dr Behnam Kamrani and Nafiseh Emran, all of whom manage to give the viewer a sense of globalisation and universal communication within their works. Until March 24. Open Sat–Thu 10am–1pm, 2pm–7pm. Street 6, Al Quoz 3, www.courtyard–uae.com (04 347 5050).
Traffic Mop Cap – Magic Of Persia Art Prize Exhibition A gallimaufry of rising stars fill out one of Dubai’s most cutting-edge and progressive artspaces this month as the Magic of Persia Contemporary Art Prize (MOP CAP), the world’s leading art prize for Iranian artists, holds its annual exhibition of shortlisted candidates at UAE collector Rami Farook’s Al Quoz premises. The wealth of talent on display is staggering – with the 24 artists appearing here having been whittled down from a list of over 90 nominees. The full list of participants is Morteza Ahmadvand, Parastoo Ahovan, Hojat Amani, Hossein Azadi, Niyaz Azadikhah, Navid Azimi Sajadi, Reza Azimian, Behroo Bagheri, Shahrzad Changalvaee, Alireza Dayani, Shima Esfandiyari, Mehdi Farhadian, Arash Fayez, Babak Golkar, Rodin Hamidi, Ghazaleh Hedayat, Babak Kazemi, Raymar Manouchehrzadeh, Ali Nadjian, Dana Nehdaran, Hesam Rahmanian, Shirin Sabahi, Mamali Shafahi and Najaf Shokri. Following deliberations, the chair of the judges, Ali Khadra, will announce the finalists’ names at 4pm on Monday March 14 at Traffic. March 14–19. Open Sat–Thu 10am–8pm. Umm Suqeim Road, Al Quoz 4, www.viatraffic.org, (04 347 0209).
XVA Gallery ‘Hidden Love’ by Halim al Karim. Established in 2003, XVA is one of the leading galleries in Dubai that specialises in contemporary art from the Arab world and Iran. Now installed in its smart new DIFC premises, it continues the good work it established at its former Al Bastakiya base with a programme of events and exhibitions. This month, artist in residence, Iraqi-born painter Halim al Karim returns with another solo show, ‘Hidden Love’. Until April 10. Open Sun-Thu 10am-6pm, Sat 12pm-6pm. Building 7, Gate Village, DIFC, www.xvagallery.com, (04 353 5383).