Thursday, September 17, 2009

Arab Print

Artist: Ali Omar Ermes, Nja Mahdaoui, Jamal Abdul Rahim, Laila Shawa, Mona Saudi
Exhibition Title: Arab Print
Exhibition Date: 13/11/2008

"Arab print" A celebration of printmaking by Arab Artists of today and yesterday.
For immediate release…Under the Patronage of H.E. Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education & Scientific Research, the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF) and Meem Gallery, in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture & Heritage and Ghaf Art Gallery, proudly present Arab Print Exhibition, showcasing printmaking work of prominent Arab artists. The concept behind this project was first developed in 2007, when it was clear to many within the Modern Arabic art community, there was a collection of work that, while previously celebrated in the 80's and the 90's, was becoming ignored and forgotten, this being printmaking by Arab artists.The need to express ideas and feelings in graphic terms has been strong in the twentieth century, which has seen an expansion of interest in the uses of printmaking as an art form. In the course of this century and particularly since World War II, the influence of Western art has been absorbed by Arab artists. There are links between the modernist stress on art, and the Islamic tradition of abstract design. The exploration of ancient and innovative graphic techniques seems especially suited to the linear strength and expressive vision of contemporary Arab artists. In the Middle East original prints are just beginning to be recognized and collected; and Arab artists, in contrast to Western printmakers, tend only to produce small editions of their work. The outstanding imaginative force and technical expertise of many Arab printmakers may come as something of a surprise to Western and Middle Eastern collectors.Some Arab artists, however, have built up considerable reputations through individual exhibitions in their native countries, Europe and elsewhere by their representation in the international contemporary art fairs and biennales. Outstanding among these for their graphic works are the artists represented in this show. A few of these have had successful individual shows in London and all have been represented in the pioneering group shows of contemporary Arab art at the Iraqi Cultural Center; but in general, their work remains little known here. At the beginning of 2008, a plan was put into place to exhibit the series noted for their importance to the fabric of modern Arabic culture, with 3 to 4 series to be exhibited in each exhibition/ volume.The collection contained in Volume 1 contains a series of works, regarded by leading collectors of Modern Arab Art, as some of the most important complete series - these being The Petra Tablets by Mona Saudi - the internationally recognized Lebanese Sculptress, the Red Square series by the Tunisian painter Nja Mahdaoui, The Walls of Gaza by Laila Shawa, Fairuz by Jamal Abdul Rahim and Harf Al Kaf and Blue Haa by Ali Omar Ermes - with the Harf Al Kaf lithograph held in the Islamic collection of LACMA in Los Angeles - the Internationally respected Museum.All the work exhibited for Arab Print Volume 1, have been produced using the screenprint technique, a form of lithography. Further volumes of Arab Print will include the work of Dr Ahmed Moustafa, Dia Azzawi, Mohammed Melehi, Rafa Al Nasiri, Issam El Said and leading Arab artists and printmakers.The Arab Print exhibition will commence on Thursday 13th November 2008 at 8pm at the Ghaf Art Gallery in Abu Dhabi, and will continue until Thursday 20th November 2008. Beside the exhibition, the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation developed an educational program in which artists Jamal Abdul Rahim and Mona Saudi will share their experience and knowledge with students of leading Universities in Abu Dhabi.


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Ghaf Art Gallery
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Abu Dhabi, UAE