This Autumn, Sharjah Art Foundation presents two thematic exhibitions that bring together newly acquired and rarely seen works from the Sharjah Art Foundation Collection, a public collection that has consistently evolved since the establishment of the Foundation in 2009.
Curated by the Foundation director Hoor Al Qasimi, each exhibition—titled The Rain Forever Will be Made of Bullets and When I Count There Are Only You…—draws its name and central theme from a work on display, honouring the artists and their collective vision. The exhibitions are currently on view in the Foundation’s Al Mureijah Art Spaces through 1 October 2021.
The Sharjah Art Foundation Collection reflects an ever-expanding range of art forms and visual culture, encompassing a diverse body of more than 1,300 works that span art movements from the 1920s to the present day. The Collection is anchored by acquisitions and commissions from more than two decades of the Sharjah Biennial, the Foundation’s year-round exhibitions and other core commissioning programmes. Reflecting Sharjah’s history as a major regional trade route, the Collection acts as a node that connects cultures through modern and contemporary art. In addition to highlighting the breadth and range of the Foundation’s Collection, these exhibitions build on the Foundation’s work to shift the axis of art history towards a more inclusive, intergenerational and transcultural narrative through its exhibitions, Collection and programs.
The Rain Forever Will be Made of Bullets
24 July–1 October 2021
Taking its title from a work by Simone Fattal, The Rain Forever Will be Made of Bullets brings together works focusing on the struggles and wars that occurred in the respective artists’ home countries through their exploration of artistic mediums and source materials. Previously exhibited works by Etel Adnan, Simone Fattal and Lala Rukh join a selection of newly acquired sculptures and works on paper by Chaouki Choukini.
Etel Adnan’s Mount Tamalpais (2015), commissioned for Sharjah Biennial 12, is a work from a series of tapestries conceived in the 1970s that were inspired by the textures and colours of the Persian rugs of Adnan’s childhood. Her other works on view in this exhibition demonstrate her subtle power as a colourist. Also on view are Lala Rukh’s Sand Drawings 1–4 (2010), exhibited in Sharjah Biennial 12, that reveal her engagement with the sea and horizon as well as her attendant philosophical preoccupations with time, infinitude and nonexistence. An examination of socio-political conditions in the Middle East occurs in works like Zhat El Himma and Abdel Wahab (2006) by artist Simone Fattal. Based on two legendry yet widely unknown heroes of the Sira, from an epic of the same name, these works were part of her solo exhibition in 2016 at Sharjah Art Foundation. On view for the first time at Sharjah Art Foundation are a selection of sculptures, pencil drawings and watercolour paintings by Chauoki Choukini.
When I Count There Are Only You…
24 July–1 October 2021
Gallery 5, Al Mureijah Art Spaces, Sharjah
When I Count There Are Only You… examines the role artists play in society by revealing the most intimate and personal details of their inner thoughts, thus leaving themselves open for public deliberation and interpretation. The exhibition presents works by Farhad Moshiri, Farideh Lashai, Iman Issa, Mandy El Sayegh, Nari Ward, Prajakta Potnis, Rabih Mroué and Rasheed Araeen.
El Amal (2011–2012) is a series by artist Farideh Lashai that offers a commentary on the Arab spring and is on view alongside works such as But When I Look, There is Only a Shadow and When I Count There are Only You... (2012–2013). Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation, Kitchen Debate (2014) by artist Prajakta Potnis brings together staged scenes of political diplomacy and the kitchen of the future. Also on view is Rasheed Araeen’s I Love it, It Loves I (1979–1983) that studies the complex relation between geography, history, identity, performance and aesthetics.
Nari Ward’s We the People (Arabic version) (2018) uses multi-coloured shoelaces to spell out an Arabic translation of ‘we the people’, a phrase taken from the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States. Also on view are Mandy El Sayegh’s Boundary Work (2017), commissioned for Sharjah Biennial 13; Farhad Moshini’s Golden Love Super Deluxe (2003) exhibited in Sharjah Biennial 6; Iman Issa’s project Material (2010–2011) exhibited in Sharjah Biennials 9, 12 and 13; Rabih Mroué, included in Sharjah Biennial 9 and 13, is represented by his work on paper Notebook 2010 #7 (2018).
Also on view at Sharjah Art Foundation
Sharjapan 3 – Remain Calm: Solitude and Connectivity in Japanese Architecture
24 July–1 October 2021
Galleries 1, 2 & 3 in Al Mureijah Square, Sharjah
The third exhibition in a four-year series titled Sharjapan curated by Yuko Hasegawa for Sharjah Art Foundation, Remain Calm examines modern and contemporary architecture in Japan, exploring ideas that resonate powerfully when the pandemic has made staying at home the ‘new normal’, while disrupting individual connectivity to an outside world that feels fraught with challenges, risk and unknown possibilities.
© 2000 - 2021 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)