01 Mar 2023
Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Arts Hall
Misk Art Institute is committed to providing content and context for the Arab art sector through The Art Library: Discovering Arab Artists. This initiative, in partnership with Rizzoli International Publications and editor Mona Khazindar, is dedicated to publishing a series of books contextualizing the artistic methods and journeys of prominent Arab artists by documenting and displaying selected artworks to demonstrate the significant roles these artists have played in shaping the Arab world's modern and contemporary art scenes. It is the Institute’s pleasure to invite readers to experience the artworks of Manal AlDowayan and Hassan Sharif for the first time in this context on March 1, 2023.
Volumes nine and ten of The Art Library highlight Saudi artist Manal AlDowayan and Emirati artist Hassan Sharif. A selection of the artists’ seminal works is presented alongside written contributions from local and international art critics and curators. The book on Manal AlDowayan is an intimate exploration of her participatory approach to art, which addresses the crucial topic of gender-specific, socio-political obstacles and narratives in Saudi Arabia. Hassan Sharif's book examines the concept of weaving throughout his oeuvre, which became as much a conceptual approach as it was a performative action.
AlDowayan and Sharif are placed side by side in a novel appraisal of both their practices, sharing a non-hierarchical approach to artmaking as well as strong performative and participatory elements. Despite belonging to different generations, a conversation between the two occurs across time. AlDowayan drew inspiration and influence from Sharif, as he was a pioneer of contemporary art in the United Arab Emirates. Sharif incorporates the performative act of weaving into all aspects of his oeuvre, while AlDowayan engages collaboratively with her audience to produce a collective writing and remembering of history that preserves culture. The books navigate the complexities of these artists’ approaches and elucidate the ways in which they have shaped modern and contemporary art in the Arab world.
The exhibition at Misk Art Institute marks the first time that works by AlDowayan and Sharif have been included in institutional solo shows in Saudi Arabia. In honor of these pivotal artists, this exhibition invites audiences to experience the artworks first-hand, bringing them closer together through a physical and visual experience.
Misk Art Institute would like to thank Manal AlDowayan, BASMOCA, Dr. Omar Kholeif, Sharjah Art Foundation, Faisal Tamer, and Isabelle Van den Eynde for their contribution and invaluable support.
Note: The exhibition will be accompanied multiple days of talks, workshops. You may find the programming schedule on our Public Programs page.