Alserkal Avenue will have its first Galleries Night of the year on Monday, 12th January. There are lots of new exhibitions opening that night between 6-9pm. Here's what to expect:
Disjointed figures laze in the afternoon sun and recline bikini clad as they accept drinks from fully dressed figures. We re-live the heyday of 1950’s Americana.
The new paintings by Portuguese artist Gil Heitor Cortesão, maintain the aqueous dimensions and his signature corrosion of subject and image present in his past works, but the decay is deeper this season.
Cortesao’s figures were once wraiths in the background, the figures now stand boldly in their corporal domination of the scene. They are the vision of decay and the subject of undulating plains of existence. Like water the figures endlessly move within their form, never fully contained or still.
Green Art Gallery
Drawing from various historical archives including literature, art history and music, Zsolt Bodoni‘s paintings function in an archaeological manner, peeling back layers of history, inspired by found images and various other documentation. Corrupting the 'original' file that we have come to understand as 'the true interpretation of events', Bodoni is interested in redefining our understanding of past and present realities.
The new series of paintings take Labanism as their starting point, a form of dance that was coined after Rudolf Laban (1879 – 1958), the Hungarian dance artist and theorist, notable as one of the pioneers of modern dance in Europe. Bodoni became interested in Laban’s ideals at that time, which questioned the traditional constraints against showing feeling using one’s own body, but was however taken by the photographic documentation of that era which carried a strange and dark atmosphere.
Benjamin Senior's paintings depict wholesome activities of exercise, play and walking in nature. His healthy figures inhabit a geometric, structured world. Even the verdant landscapes are brought to order with crisply delineated fields and forests. Yet tensions run through the paintings to give a sense of a structure on the brink of collapse.
The enclosure of the show's title refers to the artist's attempt to create a contained world in which his thoughts on representation, formalism and narrative can play out.
Gulf Photo Plus
Everyday Middle East
Everyday Middle East is an Instagram feed featuring mobile phone images by 25 professional photographers working in the Middle East and North Africa. Founded in March 2014, Everyday Middle East has collected more than 46,000 followers on Instagram with 520 mobile phone photos posted in the last 8 months.
Everyday Middle East is part of a network of Everyday Projects, which also include Everyday Africa, Everyday Asia and Everyday USA. The projects cross-publish with each other and are currently collaborating to create a non-profit organization.
Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde
Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde felt there was no need to staple a clever title onto this show of 11 artists, because Nice Drawings came about via a simple request for some of the gallery’s friends and collaborators to send over a new drawing. The responses were neither conventional or necessarily ‘nice’ drawings:
Pencil-like lines are formed in an unthreaded rice bag; bikinied women wrestle on a barren beach of blank paper, (an animation composed of hundreds of hand-drawn frames). A sculptural ink drawing of a mauve mountain range reveals its grandeur to be nothing more than a flimsy film set. Nonsensical faux-architectural drawings depict a room in absurd dimensions, shreds of family photographs are finished and made caustic with graphite, the rigidity of lines on a grid is only a cover for artful errors.
The Mojo Gallery
From Palestine, Zimbabwe and Syria, faces emerge and meet in expressive forms filled with sadness, defiance, scorn, questions and at times cries. Faces and figures searching the surreal sky stormy with gunpowder for a sense of freedom. A moment of respite from injustice in a world shaped by the lust for power, tormented by repression and human indifference.
Three remarkable and unique points-of-view shaped and touched by first hand experiences. Yet all united by the enduring human spirit to pursue an existence lived with simple dignity.
‘ILAT’ is a moving, intimate and inspiring exhibition exploring spiritual life by venturing into the imagination of the African people. Born in Manama (Bahrain), Hesham Malik presents his African journey for the first time through the medium of 25 works of art.
Malik’s ‘ILAT’ artworks are both philosophical and mystical; intertwined with the complexities of ancient beliefs. The exhibition presents a thought- provoking collection in which stories unfold and where the solitary culture of African tribes is revealed.
Nathaniel Rackowe considers light to be one material in his palette as an artist, using it throughout his practice as both a surface and a point of origin. The title of the show reflects these parallel traits: 'trajectory' is a precise, mathematical term, referring to the source, direction and line that light can travel - but when prefixed by 'radiant' it takes on a more ethereal quality, the overall effect perhaps greater than the sum of its parts.
The exhibition will bring together existing works and new pieces that have been inspired by Rackowe's recent visit to Dubai. It will combine wall-based neon works and freestanding sculptures, which all share a fascination with the perception of light.
Date: Monday, 12th January 2015, 6-9pm
Venue: Alserkal Avenue, Street 8, Al Quoz 1 (location map/how to get there)