New York’s Grey Art Gallery to explore Arab abstract art

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Updated 31 December 2019

New York’s Grey Art Gallery to explore Arab abstract art

  • Artworks from the collection of Sharjah’s Barjeel Art Foundation will be presented at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery
  • “Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950s–1980s” will take place from Jan. 14 to April 4 in Manhattan

DUBAI: Artworks from the collection of Sharjah’s Barjeel Art Foundation will be presented at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery as part of the upcoming exhibition “Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950s–1980s,” from Jan. 14 to April 4 in Manhattan.

 The exhibition is a collaborative project between the two institutions. 

The four-month-long art show will feature nearly 90 works all drawn from the Emirati non-profit arts organization, including paintings, sculptures and a book of essays written by prominent personalities from the world of arts and culture, including three UAE-based authors — Salwa Mikdadi, Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi and Suheyla Takesh, who co-curated and organized the event.

Featured artists include Lebanese poet and visual artist Etel Adnan, late Iraqi painter and sculptor Shakir Hassan Al-Said, late Moroccan painter Ahmed Cherkaoui and late Emirati artist Hassan Sharif among others. Paintings from Saloua Raouda Choucair, the late Lebanese artist who is credited with pioneering the abstract art movement in the Middle East during the 1950s, will also be showcased for visitors to view.

The presented works hail from a diverse range of countries from the Middle East and North Africa, including Algeria, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Kuwait, Palestine, Tunisia and Syria.

The aim of the exhibition is to explore the development of abstract work in the Middle East, North Africa and the Arab diaspora via paintings, sculptures and works on paper dating from the 1950s through to the 1980s.

Though art has always been prominent in the Arab world, various modes of abstract art began spreading like wildfire through the region during the 20th century in the form of Islamic calligraphy, printmaking, sculptures and paintings.

After debuting at the Grey Art Gallery at New York University, “Taking Shape” will travel to the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University in Illinois, where it will be on view from April 28 through to  July 26, before heading to the Johnson Museum at Cornell University in New York from August 22 to Dec. 13, 2020.

 “Taking Shape” aims to enlighten visitors about the lesser-known origins and influences of abstract art from the Arab world.


US-Iraqi beauty mogul Huda Kattan to appear in new Quibi series ‘About Face’

Updated 39 min 52 sec ago

US-Iraqi beauty mogul Huda Kattan to appear in new Quibi series ‘About Face’

DUBAI: US-Iraqi beauty mogul Huda Kattan is set to make an appearance  in British model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s new Quibi series “About Face.”

The six-part show, which is set to launch on Aug 10, focuses on business development and entrepreneurship in the beauty industry. 

The 36-year-old Kattan, who founded her eponymous beauty empire Huda Beauty in 2013, is among several of the high-profile guests and beauty entrepreneurs who will join Huntington-Whitely, including cosmetics mogul Kylie Jenner, Glossier chief executive Emily Weiss, South Korean beauty influencer Park Hye-min, celebrity make-up artist Sir John and hairstylist Jen Atkin.

It is expected that the model will “get up close and personal with beauty industry trailblazers,” giving insights into product breakthroughs and game-changing items.

Kattan is undoubtedly a gamechanger in the beauty industry, making her a fitting guest for the show.

In addition to being at the helm of one of the world’s fastest-growing makeup brands, the Dubai-based entrepreneur also  recently-launched a skin care range titled Wishful. She is also the co-founder of a fragrance line titled Kayali, in collaboration with her younger sister Mona Kattan.

From a humble start of beauty blogging after leaving the corporate world, Kattan has become one of the most recognizable names in makeup around the world, and has amassed a social media following of over 46.5 million – to put that into perspective, more people follow the Huda Beauty Instagram account than four times the population of the UAE. 

Meanwhile, Huntington-Whiteley is not the first high-profile collaborator of the streaming service. Since its launch in April of this year, the platform, which specializes in short-form content under 10 minutes per episode, has partnered with talent like Alexander Wang, Chrissy Teigen, Idris Elba and Reese Witherspoon among others.

Huntington-Whiteley’s series on the American short-form streaming platform was announced in December last year. 

The model is an executive producer on the show, alongside Lily Berg. Also working on the project is Alfred Street Industries, the production company behind “Project Runway.”

Huntington-Whitely has experience in the brand side of beauty too, having joined Hourglass as its first brand ambassador this year. Prior to that, the model was the face of BareMinerals.