A Dialogue Between the Modern and the Contemporary One of the inaugural exhibitions of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art
30 December 2010 - 28 May 2011
Venue: Al-Riwaq Art Space, the exhibition hall located on the Museum of Islamic Art grounds.
Curator: Nada Shabout
Dia Azzawi * 1939 Baghdad, Iraq. Lives in London, UK.
Farid Belkahia * 1934 Marrakech, Morocco.
Ahmed Nawar * 1945 Gharbiya, Egypt.
Ibrahim el-Salahi * 1930 Omdurman, Sudan.
Hassan Sharif 1951 - 2016 Dubai, UAE
The exhibition presents five major artists whose careers have spanned the years from modern to contemporary art. From each of these artists, there is also a new work commissioned by Mathaf shown in the context of existing works by the artists from the Museum's collection.
The exhibition honors the lives and careers of these artists, who have forged and promoted modern art in their respective countries and remain influential today. Because Arabism was a major factor in the maturation of modern art from the Arab world when they came of age, their work has sometimes manifested a search for cultural identity and a desire to preserve cultural distinctiveness. At the same time, these artists have never sacrificed aesthetic growth, or abandoned the existential quest for understanding the modern self.
In speaking of the artists, Shabout said, "All five have challenged many social conventions and on various occasions pushed the envelope of what was permitted publicly. We hope that Interventions will be the first of a number of exhibitions that will recognize key achievements in constructing the history of modern art from the Arab world, and that will provide spaces for writing this history."