Taymour Grahne Gallery Advertisement in latest issue of Harper’s Bazaar Art Arabia




Download the latest edition of Harper’s Bazaar Art Arabia here:


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Regional Vis-à-vis Global Discourses: Contemporary Art from the Middle East.

If you are in London this week, be sure to head to the Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre for the Regional Vis-à-vis Global Discourses: Contemporary Art from the Middle East conference! This 2 day event starts on July 5 at 9 am. A lot of really interesting speakers. 

Check out more details here: 


I will be following the event live, and writing about it for all those unable to attend. 

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Great Online Resources for Middle Eastern Art

As we are all aware, trying to find resources and information on Middle Eastern art is not an easy task. I have recently come across 2 excellent online resources on Middle Eastern art, and have been busy over the past few weeks reading practically every article on both sites. 

The first is the Ibraaz website: http://www.ibraaz.org

As described on its website, “Ibraaz is the leading critical forum on visual culture in North Africa and the Middle East. Initiated by the  Kamel Lazaar Foundation, it was launched at the 54th Venice Biennale as an online publishing platform. Ibraaz now publishes edited readers in print and runs public programmes at institutions across the globe.”

I have known about and admired Ibraaz for a long time now, but never delved into their website properly. After a few weeks on the website, I went through all the past essays, reviews, and interviews, which was very resourceful! 

The second website belongs to a fantastic Middle Eastern art publication: Contemporary Practices, website: http://www.contemporarypractices.net. I have also known about the magazine for a long time now, and am a big fan of the publication, but I never realized how resourceful their online arm was. It contains all the essays from its previous editions, and is completely free, which is very admirable. 

Definitely check out both resources! They provide much needed information on contemporary Middle Eastern art. 



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Collecting Art in Lebanon

Very interesting youtube series on collecting Art in Lebanon:


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Art Basel 2013

Each and every summer, the art world glitterati descend onto the Swiss city of Basel for the annual Art Basel fair. This year saw the world’s top collectors, curators, and artists converge at the mega fair. This year galleries made sure to bring the best of the best from their rosters. Galleries decided to take advantage of the recent publicity from the Venice Biennale, and show artists who participated there this year. Many of the finest modern and contemporary art works on the market were on display. The fair was also a huge money maker for the galleries present, with seemingly all galleries making spectacular sales by the end of the second day.

Art Basel

Art Basel

In terms of Middle Eastern artists, the ‘usual suspects’ were strongly present this year. New York’s Sperone Westwater brought beautiful works by Ali Banisadr and Nabil Nahas. The Banisadr sold within the first few minutes of the fair, with no available Banisadr’s currently on the market. All of Banisadr’s gallerists have long waiting lists for his highly in-demand works. Ropac and Galerie Perrotin brought several works by Iranian legend Farhad Moshiri. Beautiful, delicate works by Shirazeh Houshirary were also on display at both Lehman Maupin and Lisson, and were sold by the end of the fair. Walid Raad was displayed prominently at the fair, with 3 galleries each dedicating an entire wall for his work.

Ali Banisadr @ Sperone Westwater Gallery

Ali Banisadr @ Sperone Westwater Gallery Booth

Shirazeh Houshiary's 'Fray' 120 x 120 cm @ Lehman Maupin Booth

Shirazeh Houshiary’s ‘Fray’ 120 x 120 cm @ Lehman Maupin Booth

Farhad Moshiri's 'Ambush,' 120 x196 cm @ Ropac's booth

Farhad Moshiri’s ‘Ambush,’ 120 x196 cm @ Ropac’s booth

Galerie Sfeir Semler, the only Middle Eastern-based gallery to participate in the main fair, saw brisk sales. The gallery had beautiful works by Akram Zaatari (who represented Lebanon at this year’s Venice Biennale), Timo Nasseri, Walid Raad, and Lebanese legend Etel Adnan on display. The work at the stand was beautifully selected, and it turned out to be one of my favorite booths.

Latifa Echakhch

Latifa Echakhch

Etel Adnan work @ Galerie Sfeir Semler's booth

Etel Adnan work @ Galerie Sfeir Semler’s booth


Farhad Moshiri's 'Bear Attack,' 192 x 146 cm @ Galerie Perrotin's booth

Farhad Moshiri’s ‘Bear Attack,’ 192 x 146 cm @ Galerie Perrotin’s booth



Farhad Moshiri's 'Portrait of Thermometer,' 197 x 149 cm @ Galerie Perrotin's booth

Farhad Moshiri’s ‘Portrait of Thermometer,’ 197 x 149 cm @ Galerie Perrotin’s booth






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Saloua Raouda Choucair at the Tate

As the future will show, Saloua Raouda Choucair’s extensive exhibition at the Tate Modern will mark a highly significant point in Middle Eastern art history. Now well into her nineties, Choucair has been one of Lebanon’s hidden gems for far too long. The beauty and power in this show, is it finally gives Choucair the global attention she deserves! It is a significant show, not just for its fantastic content, but also because this exhibition is the first by a Middle Eastern artist at the Tate!


(c) J Fernandes, Tate Photography


(c) J Fernandes, Tate Photograph

I have by now been to the Choucair exhibition three times in just over a week. It is a show that keeps me coming back, keeps me wanting to dive further and further into the artist’s works. I was lucky enough to take part in a group tour led by the Tate’s  International art curator, Jessica Morgan. Ms. Morgan explained how she first came across Choucair’s work at Agial Art Gallery in Beirut, and from there enquired further about the artist. After visiting her home in Beirut, Morgan found many of Choucair’s works all across her apartment. Morgan found it essential to provide an international platform for Choucair to be appreciated. Morgan wants to highlight Choucair’s position as a significant global artist.


Choucair, a pioneering abstract artist, was born in 1916. While Choucair is perhaps best known for her wonderful sculptures, she has worked with many mediums. Her inspirations are derived from Islamic art, geometry, and science. 


As mentioned on the Tate’s website:

“A rare female voice in the Beirut art scene from the 1940s onwards, Choucair’s work combines elements of western abstraction with Islamic aesthetics. It is characterised by an experimental approach to materials alongside an elegant use of modular forms, lines and curves drawn from the traditions of Islamic design.

The exhibition focuses on Choucair’s sculptures from the 1950s to the 1980s, created in wood, metal, stone and fibreglass, as well as extensive examples of her early abstract paintings and some key figurative works such as Self-Portrait 1943 and Paris-Beirut 1948. “

To put the significance of Choucair’s show into perspective, the other major exhibition taking place at the Tate at the same was the Lichtenstein show! One could buy a double ticket granting access to both! 

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photo credit: Abdullah Al Turki

This is a must see show for all those in London, and will be on until Oct. 20, 2013. 

Check out this Video about the organization of the exhibition:


Check out this link for more information on the show:



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Frieze NY 2013

Frieze NY 2013 was overall a great fair. It was held again in a large tent on Randall’s Island, a boat ride away from Eastern Manhattan. With over 180 exhibitors taking part this year, the fair is definitely one of the larger ones out there. Some of the best galleries from across the world lined up to join Frieze this year, which took place from May. 10-13. 

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The presence of Middle Eastern art at the fair was strengthened by the participation of Dubai’s Third Line and Beirut’s Sfeir Semler Gallery. Sfeir Semler Gallery had a great booth location close to the fair’s entrance. The booth included works by some of the gallery’s star artists including Akram Zaatari, Yto Barrada, and Khalil Rabah. 

Sfeir Semler Booth

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Khalil Rabah, ‘The Palestinian Museum of Natural History and Humankind,’ 2012, Oil on canvas, 200 x 100 cm:


Walid Raad:

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Akram Zaatari, ‘Before they went to their military training. Studio Shehrazade, Saida 1970, 2006,’ Modern Silver Print:

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Wael Shawky, ‘Cabaret Crusades: The Path to Cairo, Soldier,’ 2010:
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Etel Adnan:

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The Third Line Gallery brought a beautiful selection of works, including a brilliant work by Pouran Jinchi, a great Moshiri, and a beautiful Monir Faramanfarmaian.

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Monir Faramanfarmaian:

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Slavs and Tatars:

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Farhad Moshiri:

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Pouran Jinchi:

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L & M Arts’ Ahmed Al Soudani piece:

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New York City’s Jack Shainman Gallery had 2 beautiful works by Hayv Kahraman:

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