The Six: A closer look at some of the artists on show at Art Dubai 2019

Art Dubai takes place on March 19 to 23. (AFP)
Updated 20 March 2019
0

The Six: A closer look at some of the artists on show at Art Dubai 2019

DUBAI: There are more than 500 artists on show at the region’s largest art fair, set to wrap up on March 23, and we’ve taken a closer look at six of them.

Daniah Al-Saleh

Al-Saleh, winner of this year’s Ithra Art Prize, unveiled her piece, “Sawtam” — Arabic for phoneme, the smallest unit of sound in a language. The artist recorded herself pronouncing all the 28 Arabic phonemes and created visual images of the sound waves of each.

Luis E. López-Chávez

The Cuban artist created a series of carpet-based works while on a 40-day residency in Dubai. He told Arab News that his work is all about merging the public — through allusions to graffiti — and the private spheres.

Samia Halaby

Showcased by the Dubai-based Ayyam Gallery, Halaby is a Palestinian artist who lives in New York and creates stunning, block-printed works that are exploding with color.

Rashed Al-Shashai

Saudi artist Al-Shashai created this lit-up, delicate piece called “Brand 2” in 2019.

Tomas Dauksa

One of the most fun pieces we spotted, “No Limit” by Dauksa featured battery-operated, fantastical, animal-like creations careening across the floor.

Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim

Shown by the Lawrie Shabibi gallery, “Robot 4” is a cardboard and papier-mâché creation that meshed together rudimentary materials with the futuristic concept of robot technology.


UAE gift helps French palace reopen ‘forgotten theater’

Updated 18 June 2019
0

UAE gift helps French palace reopen ‘forgotten theater’

  • Now called the Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan Theatre, it is the latest example of the close relations between Paris and Abu Dhabi
  • The UAE capital already hosts the Louvre Abu Dhabi, opened by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed and President Emmanuel Macron in 2017

FONTAINEBLEAU: An exquisite 19th-century French theater outside Paris that fell into disuse for one and half centuries has been restored with the help of a €10 million donation from oil-rich Abu Dhabi.
The Napoleon III theater at Fontainebleau Palace south of Paris was built between 1853 and 1856 under the reign of the nephew of emperor Napoleon I.
It opened in 1857 but was used only a dozen times, which has helped preserve its gilded adornments, before being abandoned in 1870 after the fall of Napoleon III.
But during a state visit to France in 2007, Sheikh Khalifa, ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the United Arab Emirates, was reportedly entranced by the abandoned theater and offered €10 million ($11.2 million) on the spot for its restoration.
After a project that has lasted 12 years the theater is now being reopened.
An official inauguration is expected soon, hosted by French Culture Minister Franck Riester and attended by UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.
Now called the Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan Theatre, it is the latest example of the close relations between Paris and Abu Dhabi.
The UAE capital already hosts the Louvre Abu Dhabi, opened by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed and President Emmanuel Macron in 2017, the first foreign institution to carry the name of the great Paris museum.
For all its ornate beauty, the theater has hardly ever been used for its orginal purpose, hosting only a dozen performances between 1857 and 1868, each attended by around 400 people.
“While it had been forgotten, the theater was in an almost perfect state,” said the head of the Fontainebleau Palace, Jean-Francois Hebert.
“Let us not waste this jewel, and show this extraordinary place of decorative arts,” he added.
According to the palace, the theater is “probably the last in Europe to have kept almost all its original machinery, lighting and decor.”
Having such a theater was the desire of Napoleon III’s wife Eugenie. But after the defeat, his capture in the Franco-Prussian war in 1870 and the declaration of France’s Third Republic, the theater fell into virtual oblivion.
Following the renovation, the theater will mainly be a place to visit and admire, rather than for regularly holding concerts.
“The aim is not to give the theater back to its first vocation” given its “very fragile structure,” said Hebert.
Short shows and recitals may be performed in exceptional cases, under the tightest security measures and fire regulations. But regular guided tours will allow visitors to discover the site, including the stage sets.
The restoration aimed to use as little new material as possible, with 80 percent of the original material preserved.
The opulent central chandelier — three meters high and 2.5 meters wide — has been restored to its original form.