Few Middle Eastern organisations have made an impact in the arts like the Sharjah Art Foundation. They’ve heightened the standards for Arab art in the region with the Sharjah Biennial, the Islamic Arts Festival, a film festival, and even a newly launched graphic design biennial, cementing Sharjah as one of the most creative cities in the world along the way.
And as they’re always ahead of the game, the Hoor Al Qasimi-led foundation is already filling up the cultural calendar for autumn, and you’re not going to want to miss a single one of their exhibitions.
Akram Zaatari: Against Photography. An Annotated History of the Arab Image Foundation
If you’re not already familiar, it’s time to get acquainted with the Arab Image Foundation. Founded by Akram Zaatari in 1997, the non-profit organisation has worked to preserve photography in the region. The organisation is behind the discovery of the legendary Lebanese photographer Hashem El Madani’s archive, amongst others over the past 20 years. And in September, the Sharjah Art Foundation is trailing Zaatari’s work with an exhibition set to reflect on the evolution of his organisation.
Akram Zaatari: Against Photography, September 27 – January 10, Gallery 3 and 4 in Al Mureijah Square
Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian: Sunrise, Sunset
In partnership with Dublin’s Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), the Sharjah Art Foundation looks to the work of one of Iran’s most prominent artists, the late Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian. Farmanfarmaian, whose career spanned an astounding six decades, became known for her paintings, and textile designs that fused together the use of geometric patterns and cut-glass mosaic techniques from Iran, with a Western tinge of abstraction. The exhibition will put more than 70 of Farmanfarmaian’s work on display, from paintings and sculptures to jewellery.
Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian: Sunrise, Sunset, October 13 – December 28, Al Hamriyah Studios, Al Hamriyah
Marwan Rechmaoui: Slanted Squares
Organised in partnership with the Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht, the Sharjah Art Foundation brings the work of Lebanese artist Marwan Rechmaoui to the institution for a solo exhibition. Curated by Zeynep Oz, the show puts three of Rechmaoui’s pieces on display, each inspired by geography and Beirut culture. Among them is his ‘The Buildings’ series, made of five suspended sculptures that reference buildings in Lebanon which, like many, were left unfinished.
Marwan Rechmaoui: Slanted Squares, November 2 – February 2, Gallery 1 and 2 in Al Mureijah Square