Return to Abstraction
The solo show of Asaad Arabi, a contemporary Arab painter and acclaimed art theorist, focuses on lyrical abstraction. Subtle tones emerge out of his urbanist landscapes, translating into an almost audible musicality.
Until June 18. Ayyam Gallery, Gate Village 3, DIFC (04 439 2395).
The Beauty of Imperfection
Photographer Jo Kearney has lived in the UAE for four years and has made a point of seeking out interesting places to photograph away from the glitz and glamour of Dubai. ‘The Beauty of Imperfection’ captures the abstraction and romance of something familiar to us all; the dhows on Dubai Creek. These wooden trading boats have long been associated with the Arabian Gulf. Peeling paint, old ropes, rusting nails and tide marks all tell a tale of tradition and hard work and make up this solo exhibition.
Until June 20. The Majlis Gallery, l Musalla Roundabout, Bur Dubai (04 353 6233).
Love Will Tear Us Apart
Scottish artist Charlie Anderson is known for his epic-scale paintings composed of layered fragments from advertisements, postcards, posters, newspapers, flyers and magazines. A post-punk effect is achieved through his intensive process of layering stencils and paint. The result is a vibrantly textured and visually stimulating portrait of contemporary culture. Inspired by cityscapes, music and kitsch pop culture, Anderson’s works recontextualise familiar, often discarded images to glorify the transient aspects of our lives.
Until June 15. Street Art Gallery, Villa 23, 10B Street, Jumeirah 1 (055 888 8247).
Mzungu, The Aimless Wanderer
The second UAE solo exhibition of Beirut-born photographer Christian Ghammachi features 25 new pieces, the majority of which have not been shown before. These were captured during the artist’s solo motorbike journey across Africa last year from Cape Town to Djibouti. The quest lasted six months and the images depict the people, places and objects the artist encountered along the way. With this series of images, he sets out to demonstrate that beauty and powerful emotions can be found in the most unassuming places.
Until July 29. La Galerie Nationale, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz (04 380 4652).
Poetry in Stone Renowned
Jordanian sculptor Mona Saudi’s first exhibition in the UAE, ‘Poetry in Stone’, brings together seven sculptures from the period 2003 to 2012 alongside a series of seven silkscreen prints of drawings made between 1976 and 1980, inspired by the writings of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.
Until July 16. Lawrie Shabibi, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz (04 346 9906).
The solo show by Syrian artist Khaldoun Chichakli is set amid the destruction wrought by the current political situation in Syria. The artist’s drawings and woodcuts offer a poignant look into the Damascus of years gone by. In several drawings we see the ghost of the Victoria Hotel, which was built in downtown Damascus in the late 19th century.
Until June 27. Green Art Gallery, Street 8, Al Quoz (04 346 9305).
Irish artist Damien Flood’s first show at Grey Noise focuses on a research trip the artist took to Dubai, Sharjah and Oman’s coast. The paintings tow a line between abstract and figurative.
Until July 31. Grey Noise, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz (04 379 0764).
The paintings by Talar Aghbashian show people caught between deconstruction and reconstruction. Through the choice of her source imagery (stills and web-based images) and her painting technique, which preserves a sense of authenticity, she works with the photograph’s original composition and simplifies the characters into obtuse shapes, allowing us to focus on the grandiose gestures of the workers.
Until June 30. Carbon 12. Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz (04 340 6016).
Iranian calligraphy artist Mohammad Bozorgi is recognised for his innovation of traditional forms. He will debut recent works that reflect new experiments in merging the text-based abstraction of Islamic art with the aesthetic concerns of contemporary painting. In his latest works, Bozorgi uses technically complex repetition and symmetry to create vast and densely filled compositions. Often ‘mirroring’ one side of the canvas with the other, individual letters and characters are intertwined, pulled and stretched, resulting in dramatic kaleidoscopic paintings.
Until July 30. Ayyam Gallery, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz (04 323 6242).