This week’s top art exhibitions

The best new and ongoing art shows and events in Dubai

Our picks of the week

1 See art celebrating culture at Alliance Française
See Thu 15.

2 View an ambitious project at Ayyam Gallery
See Thu 15.

3 See love letters to the UAE at Gallery 76
See Mon 19.

4 Be moved by collaborations at Art Couture
See Sun 18.

5 See vibrant watercolours at The Majlis Gallery
See Wed 14.

Wednesday 14

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 15

Whispers of Love: Ramin Shirdel
Tehran-based artist Ramin Shirdel's exhibition promises to be a fascinating large-scale exhibition. Comprising ten works each made up of layers of up to 1,500 painted pieces put together to spell out words and phrases, it is a concept we're eager to see put into practice.
Until June 5. Ayyam Gallery, DIFC (04 323 6242).

Mon Amour: Hesham Malik
Influential Bahrain-born artist's exhibition is an exploration of different cultures around the world.
Until June 5. Alliance Francaise, Oud Metha (04 335 8712).

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 16

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 17

Sharjah Calligraphy Biennial
Outside Dubai's city walls but well worth a trip to see some of the most striking images and penmanship, 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 18

Art celebrating the coming together of talents and the generosity of human kind. All the paintings were started by prominent local artists and then completed by artists from the Mawaheb studio for adults with special needs.
Until June 7. Art Couture Gallery, Festival City (04 601 0101).

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 19

Love Letters to the UAE: Karen Duncan Bonner
Digital calligraphy and paintings by architect Karen Duncan Bonner. The underlying theme is a fondness and appreciation of the light and shadow visible in Dubai.
Until May 24. Gallery 76, Jumeirah (04 344 4398).

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'.
Until May 20. Pro Art Gallery, Palm Strip Mall, Jumeirah (050 676 7997).

Tuesday 20

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.
Until May 31. The Mine, Al Quoz (04 379 1704).

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