Amid the dynamic artistic movements the Middle East is witnessing this March, Ayyam Gallery gives the art crowd more than one event to indulge with & enjoy! From Photography to Paintings, from the World to the Middle East, from Beirut to Dubai… Allow us to take you on an artistic round trip with Ayyam Gallery!

  • Prix Pictet’s (Growth) in Beirut!

Michael Wolf 'aod 20' from series Architecture of Density

An international exhibition & the world’s leading photography prize, Prix Pictet, will showcase their forthcoming exhibition & for the first time in Beirut titled (Growth) on March 8th at Ayyam Gallery!

“From the dizzying expansion of our cities with their ever increasing dependency on scarce natural resources to the relentless growth of population, Growth is both a blessing and a curse. Societal growth and expansion is perhaps the most significant challenge facing humanity in the early decades of the 21st century. We face a global crisis in land use and agriculture that threatens to undermine the very health, security, and sustainability of our civilization. These issues and many more are addressed with vitality and insight by the photographers nominated for (Growth).

Edward Burtynsky's (Highway #5)

The twelve outstanding artists shortlisted for the awardwere: Christian Als, Denmark; Edward Burtynsky, Canada; Stéphane Couturier, France; Mitch Epstein, USA (Winner); Chris Jordan, USA (Commission); Yeondoo Jung, South Korea; Vera Lutter, Germany; Nyaba Leon Ouedrago, Burkina Faso; Taryn Simon, USA; Thomas Struth, Germany; Guy Tillim, South Africa and Michael Wolf, Germany.

Nyaba Leon Ouedraogo's (The Hell of Copper)

The exhibition of work by these artists has been touring since in March 2011, when the prize was presented to the American photographer, Mitch Epstein, for his series American Power. In making the award, Kofi Annan, Honorary President of the Prix Pictet, said: ‘These extraordinary photographs, and those of the other finalists, show us why a new economic model is needed – one that is global, inclusive, cooperative, environmentally aware and science-based’.”

About Prix Pictet:

Launched in 2008, Prix Pictet is the world’s leading prize in photography and sustainability and has as its mission a search for outstanding photographic series that communicate messages of global environmental significance. Entry is by nomination only, through one of the Prix Pictet’s200-strongglobal network of nominators, comprising curators, critics, museum directors and other acknowledged experts in the field of visual arts.

The Prix Pictet has two elements: the Prize of CHF 100,000 awarded to the photographer who, in the opinion of the independent jury, has produced a series of work that speaks most powerfully to the theme of the award (Growth winner: Mitch Epstein); and the Prix Pictet Commission, awarded by the Partners of Pictet &Cie, in which a shortlisted photographer is invited to undertake a field trip to a region where the Bank is supporting a sustainability project.

SAVE THE DATE! Prix Pictet’s (Growth) will be showing from March 8 – 30, 2012 in Ayyam Gallery Beirut.

  • ‘The Samawi Collection II’ in Dubai

Youssef Nabil 'Sleep. Cairo'

Ayyam Art Center in Dubai will showcase the second edition of ‘The Samawi Collection II’ on March 12, a museum-quality exhibition featuring over sixty works of art from the private collections of Khaled and Hisham Samawi. For its inaugural exhibition in 2011, ‘Selections from the Samawi Collection’ displayed fifty carefully selected paintings from Arab artists traversing the region and spanning generations providing an opportunity for visitors to view the history and evolution of contemporary Arab art.
Photographic works by Lara Attalah, Newsha Tavakolian, Rania Matar, Richard Mosse, Sadegh Tirafkan, Meera Huraiz, Halim Al Karim, Shirin Neshat, Manal Al Dowyan, Nassouh Zaghlouleh, and Phillipe Dudouit, among others, explore a variety of issues such as gender inequality and suppression in society, the negative affects of war, the transmission and loss of culture, and the overwhelming influence of the media. These works, alongside three cutting-edge highlight installations by Ammar Al Beik, Chul-hyun Ahn and Sadik Alfraji, as well as other installations by James Clar, Seon Ghi Bahk, Matthew Carver, Tammam Azzam, Qaswra Hafez, Amal Kenawy, Huguette Caland, Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta, and video art by Sama Alshaibi and Brad Downey present a vividly modern commentary of the various sociopolitical concerns contemporary artists are portraying in their works throughout the world today. Bridging continents, national borders and divergent cultural identities, the exhibition presents a platform for the viewer to engage with each artwork’s powerful and globally relevant statement of our integrated society.

James Clar 'Got Recession'

‘The Samawi Collection II’ aims to provide a more comprehensive look into the realms of contemporary photography and conceptual art by expanding the scope to include emerging and established artists from the immediate region as well as France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Korea, and the United States.
SAVE THE DATE! ‘The Samawi Collection ll’ is from March 12 until April 26, at Ayyam Art Center in AlQouz, Dubai.
  • ‘The Throne’ First Solo Exhibition by Othman Moussa

Othman Moussa ‘The King’ Oil on Canvas


On March 19, Ayyam Gallery, Dubai (DIFC) will present Othman Moussa’s first solo exhibition, “The Throne”. Upholding his superb draughtsmanship and influences of seventeenth-century Dutch realism, Moussa’s new works veer away from traditional still life painting of inanimate objects within Syrian life that quietly and poetically speak to the viewer, to a form of still life that shouts. Beautifully rendered, an oriental carpet covers a heavily draped armchair. It is the objects that occupy this throne, which present a satirical, subdued political commentary.

“Draping oriental carpets over the thrones places the realm of kingdoms under scrutiny within the Middle East. Though the majority of works are comprised of the same elaborately motifed carpet with only minor color differences, one work stands dramatically on its own. A basic, rural designed carpet ascended by a worn-out workman’s boot covers this throne. Entitled, The King, the viewer may interpret this boot-capped throne as the working classes having control over this country or the ruler resting his laurels on the hard working citizens of his land, enthroned atop his peasants suffocating their plight. Perhaps most poignant, and relevant with the present pressures and upheavals of the region, is the aptly titled work, The Empty Throne, depicting an abdicated throne.

The other articles occupying the position of power are a butternut squash, a propane tank, a babydoll, intestines, and a plucked chicken carcass. The imaginative commentary abounds of leaders whose priorities are driven by oil, countries led by incapable, infantile heads of state, and those who are exposed and lacking courage, with policies indigestible by their constituencies.

‘The Throne’ is an exceptional example of the degree of artistic realism still prevalent in contemporary art, as well as a biting satire of the present-day political ambitions and policies of world leaders.”

Othman Moussa ‘The Black King’ Oil on Canvas

Othman Moussa ‘The King of the World’ Oil on Canvas

About Othman Moussa

Born in Zabadani, Syria, a rural town on the outskirts of Damascus, in 1974, Othman Moussa has emerged as Syria’s leading Hyperrealist despite economic hardship. Moussa’s unwavering resolve and artistic prowess led him to a successful partnership with Ayyam Gallery shortly after entering its Shabab Ayyam competition for emerging artists in 2007. A graduate of the Adham Ismail Centre for Plastic Arts and the WalidIzzat Institute for Sculpture in 2000, he began his artistic career by entering group exhibitions in Syria, including three consecutive years of the annual Youth Salon in Damascus.
SAVE THE DATE! Othman Moussa ‘s “The Throne” will be from March 19 to April 24 at Ayyam Gallery (DIFC), Dubai.
You also don’t want to miss Ayyam Gallery booth in Art Dubai (March 21 – 24) where a diverse selection of painting, sculpture and photography from prominent artists such as Safwan Dahoul, Nadim Karam, Mouteea Murad, Khaled Takreti, Sadik Kwaish Alfraji, Ammar Abd Rabbo, and Ammar Al Beik will be presented to highlight some of the major innovations and trends that have come to define visual culture within the region. Here are some of the displayed artworks:

Nadim Karam ‘Love at First Sight’ Stainless Steel Super Shiny Finish Sculpture

Khaled Taker ‘Love Boat’ Acrylic on Canvas

Mouteea Murad ‘Trial No. 57’ Acrylic on Canvas

Ammar Al Beik ‘Remote Controls Out of Control’ Mixed Media Installation

Safwan Dahoul ‘Reve’ Acrylic on Canvas

So here you are, more than one artistic delight from Ayyam Gallery for art lovers across the region to enjoy! Save the dates & pick 2 or more events to see. Al Maha wishes them best of luck & triple success :)

 

Cheers