An Exhibition of Saudi Creativity in Sharjah
The Sharjah Art Museum hosts "Parallel Histories" by the Barjeel Art Foundation, featuring 124 diverse artworks until next spring with gender-balanced representation. The exhibition explores socio-political events from the 20th to the 21st centuries, unearthing different experiences separated by factors, akin to parallel lines. It delves into themes of political conflict and identity, inspiring a fresh perspective on the region's history. Curator Suheyla Takesh shares this vision.
Alia Ahmad ‘The Shadow’
In her 2021 piece, Ahmad uses soft hues to create a work resembling fabric or tapestry, suggesting an imaginative scene. Inspired by her upbringing in Riyadh's industrial desert surroundings, her paintings convey serene dreamscapes with linear depictions of Saudi scenery. Ahmad weaves memory, location, and nature, capturing the transient essence of ideas and images on canvas.
Manal AlDowayan ‘The Emerging #6’
AlDowayan often delves into the evolving experiences of Saudi women due to societal shifts. In her 2021 piece, "The Emerging #6," she symbolizes their emergence into the public sphere with a depiction of women's legs poised for action, conveying a message of empowerment and agency.
Abdulhalim Radwi ‘Palestine’
The exhibition delves into the ongoing political conflicts, especially the Palestinian question and Arab support for their struggles. A 1962 artwork by the late Makkah-born artist depicts slingshot-wielding resistance soldiers, passionately shouting "God is greater." Radwi, one of Saudi's early government-funded artists for international study, typically incorporated Saudi desert life, architecture, and folklore in his work.
Abdulsattar Al-Mussa ‘Fishermen’
In the 1970s, Al-Mussa started medical studies in Russia but switched to pursue art, obtaining a degree in Moscow and showcasing his work in an exhibition. He relocated to Ukraine, where he created his first mural. Well-known for his cardboard etchings of ordinary settings, his 1988 piece captures café life and workers' vitality, reflecting his style mentioned by Hafez Gallery.
Mohammed Al-Saleem ‘Abstract Figure’
Hailing from Marat, 1939-born Al-Saleem was a prominent artist in 1960s and 1970s Saudi Arabia. He organized Riyadh's first art exhibition in 1967. Influenced by Egyptian tutors, he nurtured a love for calligraphy. Al-Saleem coined "horizonism" to blend Saudi landscapes with abstract Arabic calligraphy, as seen in his 1997 artwork.
Nasser Al-Salem ‘Whoever Obeys Allah, He Will Make For Them A Way Out’
Al-Salem, an artist and architect, utilizes neon lights, painting, and sculpture. Rooted in religious texts, his work aims for a broad audience, conveying spiritual and historical significance. His sculpture presents an abstract arrangement of the title phrase in Arabic, resembling a maze.
Samer Tabbaa ‘Untitled VII’
Tabbaa, from Taif's mountainous city, drew inspiration from the desert's expanses. His three-dimensional art, like "Untitled VII," resembles architectural elements and totem poles. At the Sharjah Art Museum, it interacts with geometry and space paintings.