1980 – Today: Exhibitions in the UAE
The 56th International Art Exhibition
Curated by Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi for Biennale Arte 2015, 1980 – Today: Exhibitions in the United Arab Emirates was a group show that presented a selection of works by fifteen Emirati artists from different decades highlighting the emergence of art practices in the UAE. The Emirates Fine Arts Society, a non-profit association that was formed in 1980 in Sharjah, has served as a main point of focus and inspiration for research.
The exhibition features more than 100 works, built upon extensive research involving archives of newspaper articles, artists’ writings, and catalogs, as well as interviews with artists and cultural practitioners. Reflecting personal and geopolitical trajectories, the research focused on the underexposed historical record and evolving practices of some of the UAE’s most important modernist and contemporary artists. The works, many on loan from institutions and private collections as well as from the artists themselves, demonstrated a juxtaposition of conceptual and formal approaches, time periods, and media.
The exhibition featured works by: Ahmed Al Ansari, Moosa Al Halyan, Mohammed Al Qassab, Abdul Qader Al Rais, Abdullah Al Saadi, Mohammed Abdullah Bulhiah, Salem Jawhar, Mohammed Kazem, Dr Najat Meky, Abdulraheem Salim, Ahmed Sharif, Hassan Sharif, Obaid Suroor, Dr Mohamed Yousif and Abdulrahman Zainal.
The accompanying publication, edited by Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, Karen Mart, Ismaeil Al Rifaai is a first-hand research on the artists involved in creating the Emirates Fine Arts Society.
The 56th International Art Exhibition, titled All the World’s Futures, curated by Okwui Enwezor was open to the public from 9 May – 22 November 2015.