Bahrain may be the smallest country in the GCC, but it’s expanding art scene may soon make it one of the region’s art hubs. The latest advancement beyond its annual Art Bahrain Across Borders fair? A new permanent gallery.
Entitled RAK Art Foundation, the art gallery is spearheaded by Sheikh Rashid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, a member of Bahrain’s royal family and avid art collector.
HRH opened the gallery in a converted traditional Bahraini house where he was raised. The space, which was built in the 1920s will house a slew of works—from his own to a collection of pieces by international artists.
The home’s original foundation was maintained to ensure the home keeps its traditional architecture. Its OG gypsum walls were kept too, which act as central features in the gallery’s design.
“I hope that when guests visit the RAK Art Foundation, they might feel inspired to develop their own collections, or at the very least acknowledge the importance of sharing art with others,” Al Khalifa told The National.
Al Khalifa, who has been painting since a young age showcased his most recent works everywhere from London’s Saatchi Gallery to Berlin’s Collectors Room, before settling some of his pieces in the newly launched gallery.
Among them is ‘Spectrum’, a series pieces that explore colour. But alongside it in the works on display is a piece by American artist Frank Stella entitled ‘The Honor and Glory of Whaling,’ and ‘La Vie’ by Japanese anime producer and manga art and illustrator Kenji Yoshida.