Artists include: Ebtisam Abdulaziz, Abdullah Al Saadi, Jos Clevers, Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim, Mohammed Kazem, Hassan Sharif, Hussain Sharif, and Vivek Vilasini with contributions from Khalid Albudoor, Nujoom Alghanem, Cristiana De Marchi, and Adel Khozam
The acclaimed NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery (NYUAD Art Gallery) exhibition But We Cannot See Them: Tracing a UAE Art Community 1988-2008 will draw to a close on 26 August. This is the last chance to see what is a long overdue survey of the UAE’s most important homegrown artistic community, featuring historic works by Hassan Sharif and Hussain Sharif, Mohammed Kazem, Abdullah Al Saadi, Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim, Vivek Vilasini, Jos Clevers, and Ebtisam Abdulaziz.
Community played an important role in these artists’ development, as they exchanged critical and creative ideas, supported and served as sources of inspiration for one another, at a time when art institutions and venues in which to exhibit their work were not widely available. Eventually, some of these artists founded the celebrated Flying House, a venue dedicated to displaying work from this community. They have gone on to become some of the most celebrated artists, poets, and filmmakers from the UAE, and most have achieved great international success (Hassan Sharif and Abdullah Al Saadi are currently featured in the Venice Biennial).
The exhibition features historic works from 1988 through 2008, with a focus on works that were shown together originally. But We Cannot See Them also includes archival material and videotaped interviews with members of the community, as well as a reading room of work from other key members of the community, and contributions from Cristiana De Marchi, Adel Khozam, Nujoom Alghanem and Khalid Albudoor.
Staying true to its academic mission, the NYUAD Art Gallery generated meaningful opportunities for engagement with the exhibition through public events. Family artmaking workshops, a series of screenings of films by Nujoom Alghanem, and a presentation of Khafeef Al Rouh, an experimental play by Emirati playwright and director Jamal Mattar, all took place throughout the duration of the exhibition.
The Art Gallery has also announced its next exhibition, Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965, which examines the New York art scene between the peak of Abstract Expressionism in the early 1950s and the rise of Pop Art and Minimalism in the early 1960s. Organized by the Grey Art Gallery, this is the first major museum exhibition to survey these vital years from the vantage point of fourteen key artist-run galleries. Opening on October 4th at NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery, and running through 13th January 2018, Inventing Downtown is curated by Melissa Rachleff, a clinical associate professor in the Department of Art and Art Professions at NYU’s Steinhardt School.
For more information, please visit www.nyuad-artgallery.org