Upcoming & Current Exhibitions
“The fire and blood blindly pouring over the living and the dead. Outlines of heads, legs, feet, hands—structured silhouettes and broadly outlined faces—overlap, piled on top of each other.” - Dia Azzawi
Measuring 15 meters long, one large scale-work by Iraqi master, Dia Azzawi, takes a panoramic view of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Based on images in the media, the artist reflects upon the tragedy faced by the Iraqi people in the aftermath of the bombing campaign and the subsequent collapse of the systems on which their daily lives once relied.
From the destruction of infrastructure and the looting of cultural institutions like the Archaeological Museum, Modern art collection and National Archive, to the savage treatment and abuse of prisoners in Abu Ghraib, Azzawi depicts the physical and psychological fragmentation of human beings undergoing such trauma.
This November Meem Gallery, in association with Emirates Investment Bank, exhibits a monumental work by acclaimed Iraqi artist, Dia Azzawi. My Broken Dream is a truly colossal work, measuring over four meters in height, and ten in length. This monochromatic work dominates and devours both viewer and space, demanding a quiet and contemplative reflection.
Qatar Museums’ Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art and QM Gallery Al Riwaq will present I am the cry, who will give voice to me? Dia Azzawi: A Retrospective (From 1963 until tomorrow), opening on October 16th 2016 in Doha, Qatar. This monumental exhibition comprises of over 350 works by Azzawi, from early modernist works created in his native Baghdad, to contemporary pieces created in his London studio.
Pushing boundaries, testing limits: this powerful exhibition from the Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE runs the gamut from photography to installation, sculpture to painting, and more. Experience the work of 12 Arab artists who examine how private life is shaped by current political events.
To mark the 25th anniversary of the foundation of the Deichtorhallen Hamburg, an extensive exhibition on the theme of »Picasso in Contemporary Art« will be held from April 1 to July 12, 2015. As the opening presentation in the Deichtorhallen’s intensively renovated and modernized Hall for Contemporary Art, the show is dedicated to the overwhelming spectrum of modern and contemporary artists’ perspectives on Picasso.
Meem Gallery will present a selection of key works by Iraqi modernist Dia Azzawi and Syrian master Marwan. Dia Azzawi is well known as a pioneer of modern Iraqi art and the works selected reflect a particular turning point in the artist’s oeuvre. Selecting unique works from the 1970s, the grouping will show the last works made by Azzawi in Iraq before his permanent move to the UK.
Meem Gallery will present a solo exhibition dedicated to the sculpture and tapestries of Iraqi modern art pioneer, Dia Azzawi. Renowned for his colourfully rendered paintings, in recent years Azzawi has explored the art of sculpture more actively.
An exhibition that pays homage to the very first artists in residency in Qatar 15 years ago, it includes installations, photographs and videos of what Doha’s inaugural art residences were like, introducing visitors to a part of Qatar’s recent history that has never been shared so extensively before.
The collection of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art is the largest of modern and contemporary art in the region. Established in the early 1990s, it continues to grow and today contains more than 8,000 objects from the Arab world, Iran, Turkey and other regions historically connected to the Arab Peninsula.
Summary, Part 1 inaugurates the permanent display of Mathaf’s collection in the second-floor galleries with a first selection of 100 artists to give an overview of its breadth. The curatorial concept looks beyond traditional linear histories of art to highlight diverse attitudes, and contextualize intellectual production within multiple modernities.
Meem Gallery is pleased to announce the display of Iraqi artist Dia Azzawi’s work at this year’s Frieze Masters. The exhibition is dedicated to the earlier works of the artist who is regarded as one of the pioneers of modern Arab art. Ten paintings from the period of 1964–1973 have been selected for Meem’s booth, displaying the artist’s creative output in the years when he was still a resident in his birthplace Baghdad, prior to his relocation to London in 1976.
’A forerunner of Arab modernity which he contributed to define to a great extent, an erudite painter, sculptor, draughtsman and etcher, Dia Al-Azzawi has always firmly asserted the cultural heritage of Arab civilizations and the enrolment of its use in contemporary art.’ (Pascal Amel, Art Absolument)
Paintings of Landscapes by Artists with a tendency towards abstract art, and who tried to renew this old genre.
Paintings by six Arab artists, with a tendency towards abstract art, and whose approach is to renew the Landscape painting, each in his own way:
Paintings, drawings, sculptures, artist books and prints by the Artists:
Abderrahmane Ould Mohand
A group of recent paintings that represent the two main aspects of the oeuvre of the great Iraqi artist from London will be exhibited: one showing Picasso’s influence in Azzawi’s works inspired by the slaughters and other violent events raging through the Arab World since decades, and the other witnessing the impact of Matisse in his more joyful and colorful works that depict the ‘joie de vivre’ in Nature and in the Oriental Gardens.
This exhibition examines the responses of contemporary artists to the life and work of Pablo Picasso during the forty years since his death, in which his significance for contemporary artists has been controversial. It addresses the question of whether Picasso continues to be important for contemporary art and considers the variety of ways in which artists are engaging his art.
In 2009 three international photographers with the support of Save the Children entered Gaza. For nearly two weeks the award winning photographers, Anthony Dawton, Jim McFarlane and Giuseppe Aquili photographed children and their families, victims of the Israeli incursion of 27 December 2008. The images are extraordinary. They tell of what happened and the damage done, physically and psychologically but they also tell of a people, particularly the children, bright, intelligent and full of hope.
French art critics and institutions tended to ignore these artists or marginalize them. Yet they produced original works, they lived and exhibited side by side to the great names of Post-War Art, and they are represented in international Art Fairs and in both private and public art collections in France and Europe since the 1970s. The Centre Pompidou brings justice to some of these artists in its new exhibition Modernites Plurielles.
At this year's Abu Dhabi Art Fair, held in Manarat Al Saadiyat, Meem Gallery will present the second instalment of the Meem Projects exhibition and publication series: Meem Projects 2013. The two-part exhibition explores the works of eleven important modern and contemporary Middle Eastern artists, displaying paintings, sculpture and mixed-media works. The first part of the display, Modern Arab Art, exhibits key works by modern artists Dia Azzawi, Ahmed Cherkaoui, Kadhem Hayder, M'Hamed Issiakhem, Rafik El Kamel, Louay Kayyali, Fateh Moudarres and Shakir Hassan Al Said. The second part, Contemporary Arab Art, showcases commissioned works produced under the title How Do You Sleep At Night? by artists Khaled Hafez, Jeffar Khaldi and Mahmoud Obaidi.
Summer exhibition, with works by seven Arab artists:
Paintings by Shafic Abboud, Hamed Abdalla, Youssef Abdelké, Dia Al-Azzawi, Abdallah Benanteur, Mahjoub Ben Bella
Sculptures by Chaouki Choukini
Meem Gallery is pleased to present an extensive collection of works, including paintings and mixed-media compositions, by modern and contemporary Iraqi artists. Modern Iraqi Art: A Collection takes viewers through the decades of Iraq's modern and contemporary art production. The exhibition represents the creative output of three generations of artists, starting with the work of modern masters such as Faiq Hassan who, with Jewad Selim, pioneered the country's modern art scene and forged an artistic identity specific to Iraq. Second generation 'pioneer' artists like Dia Azzawi, Shakir Hassan Al Said and Ismail Fattah, who encouraged a pan-Arab focus for art during the late-1960s and 1970s, as well as a more theoretical approach to art-making, also feature in this collection. Completing the display is the work of the 'eighties generation' of artists, including Hanaa Malallah, Halim Karim and Mahmoud Obaidi, who were taught by the previous generation at the Institute and Academy of Fine Arts in Baghdad, and bring with them an aesthetic that is rooted in Iraq's cultural heritage but simultaneously affected by the experience of exile.
At the beginning, my area of specialization was archeology. The human feelings present in Sumerian texts are identical to those of today. Every text is simultaneously of its time and of all times. I found a support for my feelings in Arab poetry, which is linguistically so dense and visually so rich. In the artists’ books, the painter adds a visual dimension to the text’s literary and conceptual dimension. Let us not forget that painted manuscripts represent a large part of the cultural heritage passed on by Arab civilization. Literary texts helped me to elaborate and invent my pictorial symbols. In my paintings, the bird stands for freedom, travelling and exile. The horse symbolizes heroism and the mission, Ahmad the Arab from Mahmoud Darwish is the ‘hero’ also found in Sabra and Chatila… he pursues me everywhere and always. These symbols helped me to synthetize my plastic visions, a fundamental aspect in my creativity.
Contemporary Art Platform Kuwait proudly presents “Tajreed Part I: A Selection of Arab Abstract Art”, one of the biggest retrospectives that celebrate and map the abstract movement in the Arab world by featuring the works of 88 Arab artists during the Modern period. Covering artists born between 1908 and 1960, the first chapter of the exhibition presents a panorama of selectedartists and artworks chosen for their abstract nature. The show sheds light on an artistic production that culminated over 50 years of Arab art, but needs to be revisited and further researched after 3 decades of oblivion and neglect.
An Itinerary is the title of two exhibitions of works by the great artist Dia Al-Azzawi to allow European collectors to see how rich is his production since 50 years. The works are coming directly from his personal collection and most of them are exhibited for the first time in a gallery. Since 1995, the Claude Lemand Gallery has regularly been exhibiting Dia Al-Azzawi’s works in which the artist shows his positive modernity, as well as his desire for art to contribute to everyone’s happiness and to the birth of a new Arab civilization which is in peace with itself and with other civilizations.
An Itinerary is the title of two exhibitions of works by the great artist Dia Al-Azzawi to allow European collectors to see how rich is his production since 50 years. The works are coming directly from his personal collection and most of them are exhibited for the first time in a gallery.
Modern Arab Art takes viewers through varying decades of twentieth-century modern Arab art production, starting with Al Said's work, El Norag of the 1920s, to an early work by Selim, c.1950, and an untitled gouache on paper by Cherkaoui executed in 1959; paintings by Louay Kayyali and Gazbia Sirry from 1960 and 1967; works by Dia Azzawi, Ismail Fattah, Mohamed Melehi and Fateh Moudarres created in the 1970s, and finally works dating from the 1980s by Al Said and Salahi. The exhibition also traverses geographical boundaries by bringing together artists from Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Sudan and Syria. The subject matter presented is equally diverse covering purely abstract work, the human form, genre scenes, landscape subjects and politically motivated works. Though the artists and subjects displayed are varied, this exhibition also highlights a number of intersections found in these artists' works and approaches, such as their interest in wedding traditional visual culture to a modern aesthetic.
Dia Azzawi's mural-sized painting, Elegy To My Trapped City (2011), was first exhibited by the gallery in November 2011, during Abu Dhabi Art. Comprised of haunting fragmented monochrome forms, the work represents the post-2003 destruction of Iraq.
Oriental Gardens is the title of a new exhibition of Recent paintings (2008-2011) by the renowned London-based Iraqi atist Dia Al-Azzawi.
On the occasion of its eighth international exhibition entitled Masters of the tondo, the Galerie Claude Lemand will display the paintings of 18 contemporary artists. Coming from different geographic, cultural and aesthetic backgrounds, they all chose Paris, London or New York as their capital of life, creation and international growing success, whether it be temporary or permanent.
At this year's Abu Dhabi Art, Meem Gallery will exhibit two major works by modern Middle Eastern masters Dia Azzawi and Parviz Tanavoli. Azzawi's mural-sized painting Elegy To My Trapped City (2011) represents the decades of warfare and hardship endured by Baghdad and its people. Comprised of haunting composite monochrome forms, this work also pays homage to Al-Bayati's poem of the same title. Tanavoli's aluminium Big Heech (1973) is part of the fair's 'Beyond' section. The work, which is an outdoor, installation piece, is one of the few heech sculptures constructed out of metal.