Saudi artworks dazzle at Hafez

Saudi artworks dazzle at Hafez
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Saudi artworks dazzle at Hafez
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Saudi artworks dazzle at Hafez
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Saudi artworks dazzle at Hafez
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Updated 10 November 2014

Saudi artworks dazzle at Hafez

Saudi artworks dazzle at Hafez

Since the early 1960s, the Kingdom has been quietly amassing an eclectic collection of fine art by Saudi artists that has caught the attention of local and international crowds. Hafez Gallery was recently inaugurated with an exhibition showcasing the successful journey of prominent Saudi and Arab artists.
The gallery brought together the country’s best first generation artists to exhibit their early work and it highlighted this generation’s unique and special circumstances, their notable existence and the sacrifices and contributions made, which proved to be vital in the establishment of the first instance of organized Saudi art.
Qaswra Hafez, founder of Hafez Gallery, has been involved in Saudi arts for over 20 years. He said the aim of opening this gallery was to create a diverse permanent collection of the earliest fine arts and as a general resource for the art lover. “Moreover, the gallery celebrates the Saudi fine arts existence, which will complete its 50 years by 2015,” he said.
The work of a fine group of successful artists: Abdulhalim Radwi, Mohammad Al-Saleem, Abduljabbar Al-Yahya, Abdullah Al-Shaikh, Taha Al-Sabban, Mohammad Al-Resayes, Abdullah Hammas, and Abdulrahman Al-Soliman caught the attention of art lovers.
The gallery features abstract art, collages, feature prints and acrylic paintings.
Qaswra said: “The gallery is delighted to be able to share the painting collections of Abdul Halim Radawi, a distinguished member of the Saudi fine art scene, whose work dignifies an impressive range of subject and theme.”
The opening ceremony comprised of a talk hosted by Abdulaziz Ashour, an artist and curator of “Al-Taliaa” exhibition, with the leading figures of art, Taha Al-Sabban and Abdullah Hamas, where each of them discussed their particular areas of research and expertise, in addition to contemporary art’s relationship with historic works.
Ashour said: “The successive development of the art scene in Saudi Arabia has been tremendous and is considered as high caliber art, thanks to the individual efforts of artists aiming to preserve local tradition and culture within a society that did not necessarily support art education and instruction.”
Discussions held by the artists helped people to learn more about the person behind the creativity. Both the artists spoke about their challenges, life obstacles encountered during their journey and perspective of the community toward an artist, he said.
The gallery not only exhibits innovation, art and beauty but also invites visitors, citizens and residents to explore the many facets of the Kingdom’s rich diversity and pioneering spirit, Ashour added.
Taha Al-Sabban, whose work varies from realistic renderings of everyday scenes to more abstract wanderings over the canvas and a plethora of work in oils, acrylics and pastels, said: ” I am interested in depicting the changing social landscapes of Saudi Arabia and to serve as a lasting inspiration with my paintings. It is a great opportunity to share my personal favorite, a 23-year-old abstract painting and first expressions of my artwork.”
“This is my first time to collaborate with eight different artists and create art expressions. Hafez Gallery will provide an opportunity for people to learn more about the artists and their artwork,” he added.
Artist Hamas, a pioneer in producing abstract designs, many of which sprang from his love for local traditions and the environment of his native Asir, said that Hafez Gallery is reminiscing the good old art pieces of the Saudi artists as well as displaying new works by modern masters of Saudi fine arts.
Hamas appreciated the idea of the Hafez Gallery to exhibit the past work of artists and to display quite distinct styles that address various subjects under one roof.
Qaswra announced the publication of a book in coordination with Ashour in 2015 to celebrate 50 years of arts in Saudi Arabia. The book will discuss the story of fine arts in the Kingdom, the challenges that played a major role in establishing it and the various view points of Saudi artists.
Qaswra said: “The idea of the book came to me when Ashour surprised me with a range of rare and historical works and documents on Saudi art. I had not anticipated finding something as valuable as those. I hope that the gallery and the book prove to be an important step in giving Saudi Arabian art its recognition and due on the Arab and international art stage.”
“The gallery showcases permanent collections of artists that continue to grow in size and stature, and includes influential artists in the Arab world. We’re delighted to be able to share this collection with the public, and to continue the Kingdom’s tradition of making art accessible to everyone,” he added.

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