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UAE’s Venice Biennale Exhibition, Curated by Sheikha Hoor Al Qassimi, To Be Exhibited at Sharjah Art Foundation

NATIONAL PAVILION UNITED ARAB EMIRATES LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA CLOSES EXHIBITION AT 56TH INTERNATIONAL ART EXHIBITION. ‘1980 – TODAY: EXHIBITIONS IN THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES’ TO TRAVEL TO SHARJAH FOLLOWING CRITICAL ACCLAIM 

The exhibition, which features over 100 diverse works by 15 Emirati artists, closed yesterday, marking the end of the 56th International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennale.


The National Pavilion United Arab Emirates la Biennale di Venezia have closed their exhibition, 1980 – Today: Exhibitions in the United Arab Emirates, marking the end of the 56th International Art Exhibition. The exhibition is now due to travel to the UAE, where it will be hosted by the Sharjah Art Foundation from February 20th until May 20th 2016.

The 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia ran from May 9 – November 22, 2015 and received over 500,000 visitors.

The National Pavilion UAE is commissioned by the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation and supported by the UAE Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development. The exhibition was presented in the UAE’s permanent pavilion in the Arsenale – Sale d’Armi.

Curated by Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, President and Director of the Sharjah Art Foundation, 1980 – Today: Exhibitions in the United Arab Emirates was a retrospective on contemporary art exhibitions in the Emirates over the last 40 years. Through an unprecedented grouping of over 100 works, Sheikha Hoor structured the exhibition to create dialogues between artists and across practices, highlighting the diversity and the history of the art scene in the UAE.

1980-Today Exhibitions in the UAE - Installation View 2

The exhibition featured work by fifteen Emirati artists: Ahmed Al Ansari, Moosa Al Halyan, Mohammed Al Qassab, Abdul Qader Al Rais, Abdullah Al Saadi, Mohammed Abdullah Bulhiah, Salem Jawhar, Mohammed Kazem, Dr. Najat Meky, Abdulraheem Salim, Ahmed Sharif, Hassan Sharif, Obaid Suroor, Dr. Mohamed Yousif, and Abdulrahman Zainal.

“For our fourth exhibition at the International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia we were delighted to have worked with curator Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi,” said Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, Founder of the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation and the Commissioner of the National Pavilion UAE. “Thanks to her vision we were able to share essential works from this key period in the UAE’s art scene as well as to build links for future generations. I applaud her contributions to the development and advancement of the larger discourse on art from the region.”

Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi’s research relied heavily on the public archives of the Emirates Fine Art Society (EFAS), a non-profit association formed in 1980 in Sharjah, which has long served as a galvanizing incubator for the UAE’s art scene. The archives included a trove of English and Arabic books on visual arts, theatre and literature, as well as catalogs, photo albums and copies of Al Tashkeel, EFAS’s quarterly newsletter, which has been published since the 1980s.

A publication on the exhibition featuring a series of essays and contributions by Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi and some of the participating artists, as well as some archive material, is now available for sale online on Koening Books’ website http://bit.ly/koenigde (order #1536407).

1980 – Today: Exhibitions in the United Arab Emirates will now return to the UAE where it will be hosted at the Sharjah Art Foundation between February 20th – May 20th. Further details will be revealed soon by Sharjah Art Foundation. www.sharjahart.org


The Curator

Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi is President and Director of the Sharjah Art Foundation. She is a practicing artist who received her BFA from the Slade School of Fine Art, London (2002), a Diploma in Painting from the Royal Academy of Arts (2005) and an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art, London (2008). In 2003 she was appointed curator of Sharjah Biennial 6 and has continued as the Biennial’s Director since that time. She is Chair of the Advisory Board for the College of Art and Design, University of Sharjah; and Member of the Advisory Board of both the Khoj International Artists’ Association, India and the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing. She serves on the Board of Directors for MoMA PS1, New York; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; the International Biennial Association, Gwangju; and Ashkal Alwan, Beirut. Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi is the first Emirati to be appointed as the curator for the National Pavilion UAE la Biennale di Venezia.


National Pavilion UAE – la Biennale di Venezia

The National Pavilion UAE – la Biennale di Venezia endorses the UAE’s contemporary art and architectural practices on an international platform and promotes the nation’s diverse and developing cultural scene, through the organization and management of the UAE’s participation in the exhibitions of la Biennale di Venezia. The UAE’s participation at la Biennale di Venezia commenced in 2009 with a national pavilion at the 53rd International Art Exhibition, and has continued in subsequent editions of the art exhibition since. 2014 marked the UAE’s first participation at the International Architecture Exhibition.

The National Pavilion UAE la Biennale di Venezia is commissioned by the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, and supported by the UAE Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development.

For more information visit www.nationalpavilionuae.org

To join the conversation follow National Pavilion UAE on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter and use the hashtag #UAEinVenice


National Pavilion United Arab Emirates la Biennale di Venezia

The National Pavilion UAE was established to endorse the UAE’s contemporary art practices on an international platform and provide a foundation to support the nation’s diverse and developing cultural scene, through participation in the various offerings of la Biennale di Venezia. The UAE’s participation at la Biennale di Venezia commenced in 2009 with a national pavilion at the 53rd International Art Exhibition, and has continued in subsequent editions of the art exhibition. 2014 marked the UAE’s first participation at the International Architecture Exhibition.  The office also organizes the Venice Internship, offering a range of opportunities to young residents of the UAE keen to engage with culture and arts at the highest international level through a one month internship on site in Venice acting as custodians and docents of the National Pavilion. The interns oversee the exhibition and participate in a rigorous educational program.


La Biennale di Venezia 

Universally recognized as one of the world’s most prestigious contemporary art foundations, la Biennale di Venezia dates back to 1895 when the first art exhibition was organized. It is the oldest non-commercial art exhibition devoted to contemporary art in the world. It will present its 56th iteration in 2015. In addition to the International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia hosts the International Architecture Exhibition, Film Festival, Music, Theater and Dance Festivals.


Commissioner: The Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation 

The Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation’s mission is “to invest in the future of the United Arab Emirates by investing in its people.” Founded by Her Highness Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan in 2010, the Foundation is committed to developing and supporting prolific and meaningful initiatives in the areas of education; arts, culture, heritage; and health.


Supporter: UAE Ministry of Culture, Youth & Community Development

The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development was launched in 2006 to highlight the UAE’s fast-growing community and thriving youths, while not losing sight of its heritage and cultural scene. The Ministry aims to revive the UAE’s heritage by inspiring and encouraging the creative talents abundant among the youths of today. It is responsible for promoting and investing in the energies of young people, inspiring them and adding to their artistic abilities.  In doing so, the Ministry has raised much awareness towards the community’s cultural practices and in turn, has promoted innovation and enrichment of cultural communication. It is constantly working to create an integral framework for providing detailed information regarding the country’s culture, youth and community development.  In addition, the Ministry also organizes ongoing activities and develops mechanisms to secure the necessary support required to achieve its goals.

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