This week’s top art exhibitions

The best new and ongoing art shows and events in Dubai

Our picks of the week

1 See imaginary creatures at Showcase Gallery
See Mon 12.

2 Witness outsider art at the XVA Gallery
See Sun 11.

3 View urban landscapes at Cuadro Fine Art Gallery
See Thu 8.

4 Be moved by calligraphy in Sharjah's Heritage Area
See Sat 10.

5 See vibrant watercolours at The Majlis Gallery
See Wed 7.

Wednesday 7

Drawn to Dubai: David Paskett
Acclaimed artist and former president of England's Royal Watercolour Society's collection of paintings includes scenes of the Creek and old Dubai. Expect a combined fascination of still life and distinctive waterway imagery.
Until May 24. The Majlis Gallery, Al Fahidi, Bur Dubai (04 353 6233).

The Rose and the Nightingale: A Persian Iconography
Group exhibition curated by Maneli Keykavoussi explores the popular themes of the 'gol o bolbol' in Iranian art. Often used as a metaphor for perfection and devotion, the theme has been used for centuries by Persian artists.
Until May 29. JAMM Art Gallery, Al Quoz (04 328 5169).

Thursday May 8

Passion For Life: Group Exhibition Noted
Russian artists Sergey Parshin, Evgeny kuznetsov and Vasily Polyakov join forces for a diverse exhibition. The different styles, reflecting still life, metaphorical scenery and portrait make for a varied display.
Until May 10. Baginskaya Gallery and Studio, X1 Tower, JLT. (050 556 2210).

Urban Reflections
Photography from Zeinab Al Hashemi, Vikram Devecha and Nadine Kanso puts the changing urban landscape under the spotlight.
Until May 17. Cuadro Fine Art Gallery, Gate Village 10, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 425 0400).

The Lost Empire: Fouad Elkoury
The Lebanese photographer's third solo show in Dubai documents his journey through abandoned Soviet military bases. The topography of war and human conflict are regular themes for Elkoury.
Until May 29. The Third Line, Al Quoz (04 341 1367).

Friday 9

Traces: Lamya Gargash
Lamya Gargash returns to the Project Space with photographs expanding on internal and external living spaces, seeking humans in otherwise empty compositions. The work looks at contrasts in public and private realms of Emirati society.
Until May 29. The Third Line, Al Quoz (04 341 1367).

Spirit of a Place: Sami Nabeel and Martin Smith
Documentary filmmakers Nabeel and Smith exhibit their travelling body of work in DIFC. The pictures reveal many ways in which man has brought a sense of spirituality to natural locations.
Until May 22. The Empty Quarter, DIFC (04 323 1210).

Saturday 10

It's All Square
Fifteen illustrators from a diverse range of backgrounds (newspaper, tattoo, comic book and advertising design) are aiming to spark dialogue about their art form. The event will feature sketchbook sessions and workshops. Use thejamjar space afterwards to make your own art.
Until May 12. Thejamjar, Al Quoz (04 341 7303).

Sharjah Calligraphy Biennial
Outside Dubai's city walls but well worth a trip, this calligraphy exhibition is a celebration of Arabic lettering and the beauty of Islamic script. Includes masterpieces from Europe, USA and China.
Until June 2. Calligraphy Square, Heritage Area, Sharjah (06 512 3355).

Sunday 11

Wild Garden
Self-taught artists offer up their representation of wild flowers in this exhibition curated by Iranian artist Morteza Zahedi.
Until May 22. XVA Gallery, Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, Bur Dubai (04 353 5383).

Monday 12

My Universe of Imaginary Creatures
Widely travelled Saudi artist Hadil Moufti's show is a recreation of dreams where fictional animals roam through imaginary worlds.
Until May 18. Showcase Gallery, Al Quoz (04 379 0940).

The Big Picture
This independent, non-profit exhibition aims to promote artists in the UAE and provide them with a platform to express their interpretation in a simple method, freeing the works from art politics, profitability guidelines and even the 'fame-driven market'. It is, claim the organisers, art for art's sake.
Until May 20. Pro Art Gallery, Palm Strip Mall, Jumeirah (050 676 7997).

Tuesday 13

Arash Nazeri and Majid Fatizadeh at The Mine
The ambitious Al Quoz gallery has a dual exhibition including sculpture and stainless prints of regal Iranian art with a modern twist from Arash Nazeri. The large scale paintings and small drawings touch on human nature and social obligations.
May 17-31. The Mine, Al Quoz (04 379 1704).

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