I describe March as the ‘peak month’ in international & regional art scene. From New York to Dubai, this month is packed with exhibitions, fairs, talks, performances and more! Just to name a few: Art Dubai coming back strongly in Doha & Dubai, 17 selective USA-based galleries at Armory Show, Ayyam Gallery expanding beyond borders, Bahrain rocking it with Albareh’s ‘Preludes’ , CAP bringing two big abstract shows & more!
Green Art Gallery
Shadi Habib Allah
What: After a successful year which included a solo at Art Statements, Art Basel 43, Shadi Habib Allah returns to Green Art Gallery for his first solo show at the gallery. Habib Allah’s practice, traverses installation, video and sculpture, in order to examine the structural and material operations of circulations of objects, people, histories and the economy. His practice is not about the object or the artifact itself. It is about the reconstruction or subversion of existing objects, and in this way questions received ideas of use and value and the structures that hold them in place.
Opening Reception: March 18, 2013 from 6 – 9pm
Duration: 18 March – 5 May 2013
Location: Green Art Gallery, Dubai.
ArtChowk the Gallery
As & When it happens
What: Three young men with diverse concepts come together to present their work. And as it happens, though they have very strong individual voices their art has similarity in the execution itself. this is reflective of Pakistani art of the 21st century. One can see the direction of the contemporary art in Pakistan. Forceful, individualistic comments on social-political scenario of the country in very diverse mediums.
Opening Reception: Saturday 9th March, 2013, 5 – 8 pm
Duration: From 9th to 22nd March, 2013
Location: ArtChowk The Gallery, Pakistan.
Beyond the Wall
What: “Beyond the Wall” an Urban Contemporary Art Exhibition featuring the works of Tanc (France), Mark Jenkins (USA), Parole (Belgium), Zepha (France), L’Atlas (France), Obetre (Belgium), Reso (France), Siska (Lebanon), Prime (France), Phat2 (Lebanon).
Opening Reception: March 6,Wednesday 2013 6:30 p.m.
Location: The Art Lounge, Beirut.
Carnival of Darawiches
What: “Carnaval of Darwiches,” Sana Gallery and the Middle East Institute present an extensive collection of contemporary art and masterpieces by a doyen of Lebanese artists, Raouf Rifai. Rifai’s Darwiches are an extensive body of work created by the artist over the past several years.
An Introduction to the artwork will be given jointly by Assaad W. Razzouk, founder of Sana Gallery and Mohamad Nazry Bin Bahrawi, research Associate from the Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore on opening night at 7 PM at Sana Gallery.
Due to space constraints, registration is compulsory, click HERE to register or kindly RSVP to Athina Boardman, Commercial Director, Sana Gallery.
Opening Reception: Thursday 14 March from 7 to 9:30 pm
Duration: 14 March to 28 April 2013
Location: Sana Gallery, Singapore.
Moving Forward By The Day
What: Egyptian painter Khaled Hafez explores the complex nature of the Egyptian identity in his first ever solo exhibition in the United Arab Emirates. Moving Forward By The Day opens at Meem Gallery in Dubai. The solo exhibition will comprise an equal mix of paintings and drawings, and will include some earlier painted works such as Tomb Sonata in Three Military Movements (2012). This show is the first solo exhibition for an Egyptian artist at Meem Gallery.
Opening Reception: Sunday, 17 March 2013 at 8 – 11 PM
Duration: March 17 – 2 May 2013.
Location: Meem Gallery, Dubai.
Cuadro Art Gallery
What: Cuadro Art Gallery presents 7 solo exhibitions by contemporary artists: Manal AlDowayan, Athier, Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim, Nadine Kanso, Mohammed Kazem, Roberto Lopardo and Diego Pujal.
In ‘The State of Disappearance’ AlDowayan explores the preservation of definitions through language and images, relying on Abu Mansour AlNaysaboury’s “Jurisprudence of a Language: The Secrets of Arabic,” and daily newspapers from Saudi Arabia.
‘The Birth & Destruction of an Eagle’ Athier revisits the pan-Arab symbol of the Eagle of Saladin, questioning its persistence and highlighting the power of semiotics to create a sense of unity.
Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim uses unconventional found materials from his native Khorfakkan to create enigmatic sculptures of undefined forms. The sculptures reinforce his fascination with the prehistoric, in addition to shedding light on the contemporary disconnect from nature.
In ‘The Khaled Series’ Nadine Kanso portrait her late uncle. Rather than capturing his likeness, she presents his essence through his vast collection of vinyl records. Despite appearing detached in its formal, almost documentary nature, the indexing is an attempt to impose an ordered archive of her uncle’s records and, by extension, of his spirit.
Mohammed Kazem’s ‘Scratches’ series translates musical forms into the language of visual art, resembling the forms of minimalist music by relying on reductive elements in repeating formats.
The Mappings project engages artist Roberto Lopardo in an experience in which one image is taken every minute during 24 continuous hours, resulting in 1,440 images presented as a monolithic print.
Diego Pujal ‘Fabricated’ describe equally mysterious forms, foreign yet somehow also strangely familiar. “Res” carries multiple meanings; “thing” in Latin, the basis of the Argentinian artist’s Spanish language, “beef” in contemporary Spanish, while in Catalan, the language of his home in Barcelona, it carries no meaning at all.
Opening Reception: Sunday, March 18 at 6 PM
Location: Cuadro Fine Art Gallery, DIFC, Dubai.
What: After a tremandous success for 6 years, Art Dubai returns in its’ 7th edition features a carefully selected, eclectic line-up of 75 galleries – from the world’s most established to upcoming artspaces, plus Marker, which in 2013 is dedicated to the arts scenes of West Africa. The fair’s extensive programme also includes commissioned projects and performances; artists’ and curators’ residencies; the unveiling of works by the winners of the annual Abraaj Group Art Prize; and the renowned Global Art Forum, featuring over 40 speakers and taking place in both Doha and Dubai. 2013 also sees the launch of Sculpture on the Beach, an exhibition of large-scale works, situated on the Mina A’Salam seafront.
When: March 21 – 23, 2013.
Location: Mina A’Salam, Dubai.
For more information on scheduale, please visit.
“The Wrong Women” in (DIFC)
What: “The Wrong Women” a solo exhibition of Iranian artist Afshin Pirhashemi who’s paintings are dominated by female figures swathed in black, veiled and glamorously-attired. The women he depicts are far from submissive; they are independent, confident, and sexually aware, seemingly defying the conservative dress and values of Iranian society. With bold and often almost contemptuous gazes, they take ownership of their own bodies.
Opening Reception: Monday 11 March at 7 pm
Duration: From 11 March to 25 April.
Location: Ayyam Gallery (DIFC), Dubai.
‘I Do Not Feel That I Am Free’ in London
What: ‘I Do Not Feel Free’ a solo exhibition by Iraqi artist Sadik Alfraji features new works including paintings, drawings and the video installation Godot to Come Yesterday (2013). Alfraji confronts the viewer with solitary figures depicted in profile and set against stark backgrounds. These simple forms possess a quiet sadness and sense of isolation; through them, he is able to undergo a cathartic process and address his own displacement from his native Iraq.
Opening Reception: Thursday March 14 at 6pm.
Duration: from 14 March – 27 April 2013.
Location: Ayyam Gallery London.
‘Popcornographic’ in Al Qouz
What: ‘Popcornographic’ is a solo exhibition by Kuwaiti artist Shurooq Amin a new series of 15 paintings all of which challenge conventional perceptions of what it is to be a woman and a Muslim in 21st-Century Kuwait. Amin marries two aesthetics throughout this body of work. There is flesh on show suggesting freedom, but mouths are also gagged, alluding to oppression and a lack of freedom of speech. Sex and religious fervour also repeatedly collide and Amin precisely entwines them to comment on political and social conventions.
Alongside the exhibition Ahmad Morshedloo will present an ambitious interactive octagonal installation commissioned by The Samawi Collection, which presents the viewer with drawings showing a split view of a crowd of people, dividing heads and torsos from legs and feet. Separating these two layers is a mirrored section running the length of the drawings, reflecting the viewer’s own body and thereby absorbing them into the fragmented composition.
Opening Reception: Monday, March 18 at 7pm.
Duration: 18 March – 4 April 2013.
Contemporary Art Platform
What: A phenomenal exhibition salutes the contributions of over 80 poineer abstract artists from the Middle East born between 1910 and 1960. ‘Tajreed (Abstract)’ is an oppertunity for new generations of artists and art lovers to explore achievements of established artists whom influence not only the regional but also international art scene for decades.
Opening Reception: Wednesday, March 27 at 7 PM
Duration: March 27 – May 27, 2013.
Location: Contemporary Art Platform CAP, Kuwait.
What: Contemporary Art Platform (CAP) in collaboration with Dar Al Funoon present (Madi – The Abstract Work from 1963 – 2013) a retrospective exhibition to honor Madi history & achievements, highlighting the beautiful philosophic abstract contributions linked to his intellectual backgrounds & infinite desire to analyze, dismantle & assemble. This exhibition is an opportunity to stand in front Madi’s outstanding ability in abstract creations in more than 5 decades.
Opening Reception: Wedensday, March 6 at 7 pm
Duration: March 6 – April 6, 2013.
Location: CAP Wharehouse, Kuwait.
What: ‘Wicked’ is a solo show by Clemence van Lunen presenting a body of work reveals the immense pleasure she experiences when modelling clay into voluptuous shapes, and the power of the irony which reside in her works.
Duration: March 2 – April 6.
Location: Galerie Polaris, Paris.
Galerie Janine Rubeiz
What: Solo exhibition by Mazen Kerbaj featuring his latest paintings, photographs, prints, machines… etc. The exhibition is a portrait of the artist at the precise moment in time and would be quite different had it occured earlier.
Opening Reception: Wednesday, March 6 2013 at 6 pm.
Duration: March 6 – March 27, 2013.
Location: Galerie Janine Rubeiz, Beirut.
The Space Between
What: Mana Contemporary, the Middle East Center for the Arts (MECA) in collaboration with Leila Heller Gallery will show works by prominent Iranian and Arab artists that explore not the binaries and stereotypes of the Middle East, but rather the space between. Having undergone geographical relocation and exile, these artists inhabit an ambiguous and contested space, situated within a contemporary landscape permeated by cultural and historical legacies. The exhibit will feature work by Khosrow Hassanzadeh, Hadieh Shafie, Roya Akhavan, Ayad Alkadhi, Youssef Nabil, and Dena Al-Adeeb.
Opening Reception: Sunday, March 3, 1-5 PM
Duration: March 3- May 5, 2013
Location: MECA, New York.
The Armory Show: Centennial Edition
What: Wendi Norris art gallery is one of 17 American galleries selected to participate in the The Armory Show, Centennial Edition in New York. Working with Eric Shiner, Director of the Warhol Museum and Curator for this special exhibition, we will feature a booth that spans six decades by American artists Dorothea Tanning and Chitra Ganesh. The work presented collectively examines the female psyche, ranging from the domestic references of Dorothea Tanning’s soft sculptures from the 1970s to Chitra Ganesh’s mixed media drawings of luscious super-heroines.
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 7, 2013.
Duration: March 7 – 10, 2013
Location: The Armyory Show, New York.
Kiss & Cut
What: ‘Kiss & Cut’ is a solo exhibition by Kuwaiti artist Ghada AlKandiri considered a journal-based bipolar collection of works created over the period of eight weeks, spanning early December 2012 to Mid-February 2013. As is with many of my works, this series is highly inspired by spella of emotional turmoil. It is an attempt to examine what goes on in our internal organs, what allows us to hurt so much, yet function normally on a daily basis.
Opening Reception: Sunday, March 3 at 3 PM
Duration: March 3 – 14, 2013
Location: Gallery Tilal, Kuwait.
What: ‘2Thousand12’ is a solo exhibition by Jordanian artist Hilda Hiary presenting a body of new works influenced by events & news happening through the year 2012.. some shocking, devastating and radical changes transformed the figure of the entire Middle East and the World.
Opening Reception: Sunday, March 3 at 6 PM
Duration: March 3 – 31st, 2013.
Location: Orient Gallery, Amman.
Albareh Art Gallery
What: Albareh Art Gallery presented a series of exhibitions under the umbrella of ‘Preludes’ during the entire month of March. Curated by Mo Reda, each of the preludes gives a hint on what Bahrain-based artists have to offer for the future. Artists participating are: Linda Mattar, Kady Mattar, Jehan Saleh & Mohsin Al-Mubarek. For full scheduale, click here.
Duration: March 3 – 24, 2013.
Location: Albareh Art Gallery, Bahrain.
Abdel Moein Saleh
What: A solo exhibition for artist Abdel Moein Saleh featuring latest sculptures and bronze.
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 9 at 7 PM.
Duration: March 9 – 17, 2013.
Location: FA Gallery, Kuwait.
Joanna Seikly Art Gallery
This is Not Politics!
What: ‘It’s Not Politics!” a solo exhibition by Syrian artist Samer Saem Eldahr, currently living in Beirut – Lebanon, he’s an abstract expressionist known for his colorful, bold figures.
Opening Reception: Wednesday, March 6 at 6:30 PM
Duration: March 6 – 29, 2013.
Location: Joanna Seikly Art Gallery, Beirut.
The Ara Gallery
The Dara Chronicles
What: Maisoon Al Saleh presents a new & innovative solo exhibition ‘The Dara Choronicles” paying tribute to the MV Dara ship wreck.
Opening Reception: Tuesday, March 12 at 7 PM.
Duration: March 12 – 31, 2013.
Location: The Ara Gallery, Dubai.
‘Profile Portrays’ solo by Mohannad Orabi at Ayyam Gallery Jeddah.
‘The Seat of Perception’ solo by Walid Al Masri at Ayyam Gallery Beirut.
‘Trans-location’ solo by Driss Ouadahi at Hosfelt Gallery San Francisco.
‘Collective Exhibition’ at Hamazkayin Art Gallery Beirut.
’Paper’ collective exhibition at XVA Dubai.
’Sweet Melancholy’ solo by Suhair Sibai at Lahad Gallery London.
‘King Gives Us Soldiers’ solo by ZSOLT BODONI Green Art Gallery Dubai.