Essential art events

Dubai's best art and culture events from October 20 to 26

Thursday 20

A Growing Wall Acclaimed Syrian artist
Baseem Rayyes presents a gripping exhibition that explores the pain, grief and destruction caused by war around the world.
Until November 15. Aspen Café, Kempinski Hotel, Mall of the Emirates (04 409 5999).

The State: Social/Antisocial?
A show featuring works from Rami Farook’s own collection, posing questions about how society functions. It features a number of pieces from street artist Banksy.
Until October 27. Traffic Gallery, Al Quoz (04 347 0209).

Yeh Hai, India Darling!
A group show featuring the works of contemporary Indian artists. This exhibition reflects the struggles of the traditional subcontinent to come to terms with the country’s rapid urbanisation and industrialisation.
Until October 30. XVA Gallery, Al Musalla Roundabout, Bur Dubai (04 353 5383); Gate Village, DIFC (04 358 5117).

vs Him
This solo show by Palestinian-Iraqi artist Sama Alshaibi features mainly video installation and photography. Her works are themed around controversial topics that are often considered taboo.
Until October 20. Lawrie Shabibi, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz (04 346 9906).

Friday 21

Enter the Sheikha Manal Young
Artist Awards The awards aim to promote emerging artists in the Middle Eastern region. Open to all UAE residents, male and female, between the ages of 18 and 30, the major requirement is that the artist has never had a solo exhibition.
Deadline for submissions: November 30. (04 349 9922).

These photographs by Sinisa Vlajkovic and Mohamed Somji portray diesel stations as the objects from which the Middle East evolved.
Until October 30. The Pavilion, Emaar Boulevard, Downtown Dubai (04 447 7025).

Uber-Construction and Dust Breeding at The Pavilion
Two exhibits are currently running at this space in Downtown Dubai. A solo show entitled ‘Dust Breeding’ by Turkish artist Ergin Cavusoglu consists of a large-scale interactive perspective floor drawing in vinyl, and provides commentary on the vast expansion within the UAE. Meanwhile, ‘Uber-Construction’ by Carolin Kropff is a collection of photographic works that touches on a similar subject.
‘Uber-Construction’ until October 30. ‘Dust Breeding’ until December 2. The Pavilion, Emaar Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, (04 447 7025).

Saturday 22

Brave New Wonderland
In this colourful exhibition, UK artist Jennifer Simon celebrates the evolution of the UAE and juxtaposes tradition with fantasy using a mix of bold outlines, colour, stencils and spray.
Until November 10. The Majlis Gallery, Bastakiya (04 353 6233).

From Around the Globe
Featuring separate collections from four different artists, including ‘State of Reflection’, ‘The Grace of a Belly Dancer’, ‘Colour Conversations’ and ‘Enchanted by the Arabic Script’.
Until October 31. Art Couture, Al Badia Golf Club, Dubai Festival City (04 601 0101).

Middle East, Middle Kingdom
For the first time in Dubai, 25 contemporary Chinese artists, including The Gao Brothers, will feature in a controversial show that aims to present an accurate view of the problems facing modern China.
Until November 12. Gallery Etemad, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz (04 346 8649).

Women in Art VII
Ten female artists (of seven different nationalities) from Dubai’s contemporary art community will feature in this exhibition. Now in its seventh year, it focuses on women and the female form.
Until October 27. Courtyard Gallery, Al Quoz (04 347 9090).

Raising the Stereotype
This show features nine artists from across the region and aims to quash stereotypes portrayed in the media about the Arab world. It will cover the artists’ own views, as well as stereotypes that they have experienced. For more info, see the opposite page.
Until October 29. The Ara Gallery, Emaar Boulevard, Downtown Dubai (04 454 2784).

Ashleigh Manley
The Australian artist, known for his vibrant watercolours, is exhibiting 60 original pieces inspired by his travels abroad. Patrons are encouraged to meet the artist (who has been painting for more than 40 years) between 10am and 7pm daily.
Until October 26. Artinhouse, Mövenpick Bur Dubai, Oud Metha (04 336 6000).

Sunday 23

Ahmad Moualla
A dramatic show of large-scale works by an acclaimed Syrian artist. Moualla’s thought-provoking postmodern pieces invite viewers to explore concepts such as the strained relationship between society and the individual.
Until November 10. Green Art Gallery, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz (04 346 9305).

Questions of Conditioning
Jordanian-British artist Julia Ibbini presents multi-layered work exploring her interpretation of issues that relate to the human condition. It’s a colourful feast for the eyes.
Until October 30. Mojo Gallery, Unit 33, Street 8, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz (04 347 7388).

Spot the 40
As part of the planned 40 days of events being held this year in the run-up to National Day on December 2, when the UAE will mark its 40th year as a country, organisers are urging the community to snap photos of the number 40s they spot around town (on signage or elsewhere).
Send in your submissions via the website to be included in a collage of visual representations.

Monday 24

Chants From Paradise
Focusing on a history of Islamic art, the gallery will display Safavid carpets (there are only 2,000 in the world) from the 16th and 17th centuries to provide insight into the most renowned time in carpet-weaving history.
Until November 10. The Farjam Collection, Gate Village 4, DIFC (04 323 0303).

High Tension
As the name implies, Erwin Olaf’s first solo exhibition is a collection of photographic works exploring touchy subjects such as gender, despair, grace, tragedy and humour.
Until November 10. Carbon 12, Street 8, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz (050 464 4392).

In this tribute to one of the Arab world’s greatest female voices, Syrian artist Asaad Arabi’s collection of recent paintings portrays the late Egyptian singer Om Kalthoum in concert, backed by an orchestra and in various stages of movement.
Until October 27. Ayyam Gallery Dubai, Podium Level, Gate Village Building 3, DIFC (04 439 2395).

Tuesday 25

Hurouf Al Noor (Letters of Light)
Five artists stemming from diverse backgrounds in the region use their creative approaches to produce contemporary Arabic calligraphy.
Until October 27. Tashkeel, Nad Al Sheba (04 336 3313).

This exhibition, featuring 10 artists, explores the technique made popular by Picasso in the 20th century and it’s impact on traditional media. Kareem Lofty (pictured left) brings Cairo to life by layering vintage posters and other found objects, while Diederick Kraaijeveld collects scrap wood from his travels and assembles it into 3D artwork.
Until November 11. Cuadro Fine Art Gallery. Building 10 Gate Village DIFC (04 4250400).

Art Palestine
This group exhibition features the recent works of contemporary Palestinian artists Nabil Anani, Tayseer Barakat and Sliman Mansour. Each piece reflects on the occupation of Palestine as well as the political issues such as the recent Middle East uprisings.
Until November 11. Meem Gallery, Umm Suqeim Road, Al Quoz (04 347 7883).

Wednesday 26

High Tide
Stephan Geisler’s colourful urban-style artworks are refreshingly upbeat. He uses bright colours and fantasy themes as a form of escapism, to depict occurrences in day-to-day life.
Until November 20. Showcase Gallery, Villa 679, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 348 8797).

Syrian artist Monif Ajaj’s insightful exhibition is a series of portraits depicting the recent events in Syria (‘mondaseen’ means infiltrators, after the word used by the government to describe protestors). His drawings are classical, but he uses modern materials, such as graffiti spray.
Until November 10. Gate Village Building 3, DIFC (04 323 0820).

Paintings of Buildings and Strangers
Artist Michael Bosworth’s show includes paintings he created in Dubai and India over the past five years. He aims to make a picture look aesthetically appealing, while still representing content that is honest and real. Until November 12. Dubai International Arts Centre, Jumeirah Beach Road, near Town Centre (04 344 4398).

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