Tate Britain, London
1st Sep 2006 – 18th Feb 2007
Tate Britain displays British art from 1500 to the present. East-West: Objects Between Cultures explores Christian-Muslim encounters and exchanges over the past five hundred years by introducing a selection of related objects into the Collection displays. Rather than impose a rigid version of this complex history, fresh connections are suggested between traditions, objects and historical contexts.
The variety of objects on display provides an insight into the relationship between societies sometimes considered distinct. This is revealed in the hybrid nature of many of these artefacts, which have been formed and transformed between cultures.
Some represent mercantile goods, some document the establishment of Muslim communities in Britain, while others reflect contemporary politics. It is hoped that this project will challenge static ideas of national history, art and identity.
Ali Omar Ermes – Shadda 1980 (Watercolour and gold on paper – 635 x 615mm – Lent by the British Museum)
Ali Omar Ermes was born in Libya and has lived in England for the past twenty-five years. His work takes Arabic script as a subject and dramatises calligraphic forms, often creating layered meanings with additional poetic inscriptions. This piece is of the ‘Shadda’, a diacritic symbol used in Arabic to double letters and alter emphasis.
The verse inscription relates to social equality. Like the Tachiste works displayed in this room, ‘Shadda’ depicts a gesture imbued with meaning. Although some of these Tachiste works are reminiscent of calligraphy, Arabic script is given spiritual significance in Ermes’ work, as a written expression of Qur’anic revelation.
Barjeel Art Foundation will host an exhibition entitled Tariqah (Pathway) at Maraya Art Centre on the 21st of February. The exhibition will present a collection of modern and contemporary Arab artworks inspired by Islamic art traditions. The artworks have been selected from the private collection of Sultan Saud Al Qassimi, founder of Barjeel Art Foundation. The exhibition coincides with the celebration of Sharjah as ‘Capital of Islamic Culture 2014′, with pieces on display referencing the ‘pathway’ of translating ephemeral ideas into material forms through art-making.
The exhibition “Between Desert and Sea: A Selection from the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts” opened on 24 January 2013, it shows the common background in contemporary visual art between Turkey and the Arab countries that are on the shore of the Mediterranean which includes Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, and Tunisia.
Meem Gallery’s two-part exhibition, Modern Arab Art and Letters in Art, marks the first installment of the gallery’s new curatorial venture Meem Projects. Modern Arab Art will display key works, in a range of media (painting, sculpture, and drawings), by modern ‘pioneer’ artists.